By Mercy Omoike
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) is targeting one million student population in a quest to widen access to education.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, said the current student population was 550, 000 with 150, 000 active and about 400, 000 inactive students.
“NOUN is the largest university in Africa and I will even say probably in the world.
“The reason is that the university currently has over 550,000 students; that is over half a million, our target is to reach one million students.
“If you look at these figures, we have to also break them down into what we call active and inactive students.
“Active students are the students who decide that they will like to take their examinations and, therefore, continue their studies. We have about 150,000 active students.
“Inactive students are student who for one reason or the other are unable to smoothly continue their studies; that is why NOUN is very flexible,” he said.
Adamu added that the university created opportunities for students to study at their pace and financial convenience.
He noted that inactive students outnumbered the active ones because of the flexibility of study; but the others because of finances, could not continue immediately, but maybe two or three years later, they pick up.
“We have a lot of civil servants who want to get a qualification but cannot leave their jobs; so we created this opportunity for them so they can get education while working.
“Hence the logo of the university, ‘Word and Learn’.
“Our focus really is more on undergraduate education, creating a minimum base,” he said.