The National Universities Commission (NUC) has granted approval for the establishment of three new state Universities in Delta,bringing the total number of public universities to 98.
The universities which are an upgrade of already existing institutions are Delta State University of Education, Agbor (formerly College of Education, Agbor), Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro (formerly Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro) and Delta State University of Science and Agriculture, Anwai-Asaba (formerly Delta State University, Anwai Campus).
While presenting letters of recognition to governor of Delta state, His Excellency, Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa who is the visitor to the universities, the executive secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed said with the approval, Delta make history as the state with the largest number of approved public universities.
Prior to the approval, the state government runs only one university – Delta State University, Abraka and about three polytechnics.
He commended the decision of the governor to convert the three existing Colleges into universities to address the education challenges in the state.
“When the governor decide to convert existing college of education he is only demonstrating his knowledge of what they people want. In UK they went through this phase in 1992 the converted all their colleges into universities.
“With the approval of the institutions, Nigeria now has a total of 98 public universities, 45 federal and 53 state private universities.”
The executive secretary further stressed the need for more universities in Nigeria to address the challenge of access to tertiary education, saying that Nigeria has over 2.1 million students in universities with so many of them nothing getting admission.
He also charged the state to meet with stakeholders and brainstorm on possible ways to ensure that the universities survive
Responding, governor Okowa said the establishment of the universities will help to address the huge numbers of secondary school graduates seeking admission in tertiary institutions on yearly basis.
He also noted that the local economy stands to benefit from the establishment of these universities and they will increase the employment opportunities.
While commending NUC for the support in making the dream a reality, he assured that in the next two years the state will create a solid foundation for the take off of the institutions, ensuring that it has th best of hands and receive enough funding.