The National Universities Commission (NUC) has presented a provisional licence to the Enugu state government for the take-off of Enugu State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS),, located in Igbo-Eno community.
The Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, while handing over the licence to the State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi, in Abuja said it would make the new university the 219th in the country.
Professor Rasheed advised on strict adherence to the laws guiding university operations while also calling on the state government to take note of the professional and technical advice of the commission as regards the statutory requirements on the establishment, sustainable funding and operation of the university.
He explained that the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) have been notified of the establishment of the university.
“Enugu is now joining three other states to establish a university of medical sciences. The first is Ondo State University of Medical Sciences, followed by Bayelsa University of Medical Sciences and then the one in Ebonyi state,” he said.
”Today,” he continued, “we are getting the state-owned university of medical sciences, which is also the first university of medical and applied sciences in the state.
“I am happy to note that this is not just another university being established; this is a university of medical and applied sciences. Nigeria is in a state of crisis as far as medical education is concerned. So it will help to solve some of these crisis.”
Still too inadequate
Gov. Ugwanyi, as he presented the instrument behind establishing the university, said the state was one of those with very high number of candidates applying for admissions, with only a very small percentage of them gaining admission.
”Although the number of universities in Nigeria has increased significantly to 218 (49 federal, 58 state-owned and 111 privately-owned), this number is still too inadequate to accommodate the teeming Nigerian youths who are desirous of having a university education,” he stressed.
“ In 2020, out of 1,949,983 candidates that applied for admission into tertiary institutions, only about 422,445 candidates were offered admissions into degree-awarding institutions.
”This left about 14 million candidates without admissions into degree programmes. The socio-economic implications of this data are not just enormous but grave.
“This is especially true for medical and allied courses. For example, over 1, 000 candidates applied to study Medicine and Surgery in Enugu State University of Science and Technology for 2020, 2021 and 2021/2022 admission sessions, but the maximum number admitted is a paltry 50 candidates per session”
”Even in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, with more than 4,000 applicants desiring to study Medicine and Surgery, this still remains limited to only 180. This is the situation in spite of the acute shortage of medical personnel in the state.”
He, therefore, presented the instrument establishing the university and the necessary documents including the academic brief and master-plan which would facilitate the NUC’s consideration of the recognition of the university, adding that adequate provisions had been made for sustainable funding of the new university.
Reporting by Hassan Hussain, editing by Daniel Adejo and Tony Okerafor