Open University Worldwide Nigeria’s Universities Commission explores distance learning In Partnership Feb (Note: not available online)

The Open University (U.K.) joined a round table workshop in November 2008 to discuss the role of open distance learning in Nigeria. Professor Steve Swithenby gave a presentation on different models of open learning and distance education to the workshop organised by Nigeria’s National Universities Commission (NUC).

The workshop focused on creating awareness of the principles and practice of ODL, and promoting the
mainstreaming of ODL in the Nigerian University system. The Open University has long established links with ODL in Nigeria through the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), some of whose senior staff attended a management training session sponsored by the Commonwealth of Learning and the OU in 2005.

Around a million students in Nigeria each year, who are qualified for university entrance, cannot secure a
place. The NUC would like to increase the number of people who can study at university level by developing a robust and demanding quality framework which will support the development of high quality distance learning provision.

Outcomes from the workshop included agreement on a communiqué suggesting an initial target of 500,000
distance learning students, a focus on younger people with university qualifications, recognition of the need for distance teaching skills, and the development of a three-tier planning process covering national policy, institutional accreditation and programme accreditation (concentrating on learning resources and learner support).


  1. Please, iam a proprietor of an educational institution in Abuja, FCT, Nigeria. I have the vision of starting a distance learning university to carter for the teeming over one million qualified nigerians who cannot secure university admission into the regular nigerian universities. I want the Nigerian National Universities Commission to come out with clear guidelines on the requirements for private investors who desire to embark on this noble objective. Thank you

  2. Thanks, Mr Tony for this useful info. i want to implore you to use your good offices to sensitize the officials of NUC to be sincere about there plans for the distance learning programmes. We are tired of beatiful plans that would never be executed. Even, the Federal government sponsorsed Open University is not being felt as proposed. Hence I want the NUC to declare openly the legality of operating a distance learning programme in Nigeria so that students running such programmes would no longer panic over the authenticity of the certificates they would receive at the completion of their courses.

  3. I am the President/CEO of The Zion Place International School, Ijagemo, Ojo, Lagos State,approved by Lagos State Ministry of Education, WAEC & NECO for external examinations. I have the vision to run a University College (Social sciences & Management studies)to carter for the over one million qualified teeming Nigerian youths who could not secured admission into the regular universities of their choice. I will want to appeal to the NUC to come out with a blue print on the modus operadus of such university colleges just as we have them every where in Ghana. This will encourage private sector participation in quality of education and nation building.


  5. NUC am not going to say much concerning this but the truth of the matter is that you go to madonna university and check the state of things there.The display and exhibition of wickedness,pls come and save life and career of students from wasting.Thanks.

  6. pls is there any distance learning center, Matured students programme, Enugu Stete University of science amd Technology, approved by the NUC. I am alredy in a delima weather to continue or withdraw on the resumption of next semester.
    pls i need your help!

  7. Hi, Dagogo

    I’m sorry, I can’t really help. In Vancouver, I’m about as far from Nigeria as you can get, so I really don’t know what is available in the way of distance learning in Nigeria, other than the National Open University of Nigeria: This is a Federal government initiative, so will carry national accreditation, but I have no way of knowing whether its degrees are accepted by employers in Nigeria.

    Can any other readers help with this question?

  8. Mr. Tony, I am quite glad on your work and your useful information. millions of Nigeria aspire to have quality education either in distance or traditional education. Most problem we face is instbility in traditional institution (campus). A lot of people would go for distance learning preferable online education in order not to lose their jobs. Most schools in USA and UK are running online distance education. Do you think the certificates gotten from such institutions it will be acceptable in Nigeria ?

    • Hi, Betty

      I think that certificates and degrees obtained online from reputable institutions in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa or India should be accepted and respected by both employers and universities in Nigeria.

      Please note though the following qualifications:

      I said ‘should’, not ‘will’, be recognized. There is still a great deal of ignorance and resistance to online learning.

      I don’t know whether the Nigerian federal regulatory organization will recognize qualifications from abroad, even from reputable foreign institutions. However, if they accept a qualification from a reputable foreign university for a campus-based program, there is no reason why they shouldn’t accept one that has an online component, because the academic standards are identical.

      ‘Reputable’ is important. In both the USA and more recently in the UK, there are a number of for-profit institutions that use the name ‘university’ without being properly accredited by national state regulatory bodies.

      Apart from open universities, few foreign institutions offer a full undergraduate degree wholly online. Most require some part of the degree to be done ‘in residence.’ However, there is an increasing number of certificate and graduate (masters) programs available fully online.

      You still have to be admitted to most reputable foreign universities offering online programs, and thus there are often barriers to foreign students applying for online programs. This varies though from institution to institution, so it is worth trying. They all require a high level of written English.

      I hope that helps and good luck with your studies.

  9. i have a vision to pursue my career, i am o’level student i really want to know if i can run surveyor on part time basis in university/polytechnics in Abuja or nassarawa

  10. Its of high pleasure to find myself in this room because I have been looking for means of interacting with NUC on this matter.As one University of Ibadan Distance Learning students,I will like to know the reason behind restriction of NYSC issue for all DL Programme so far NUC is aware of the kind of students enrolling the programme. I will like to urge NUCto take proper look into this issue since the population of young people is going higher than the older ones thai it is being meant for. Wil be looking forward to your suggestion because I as a person wish to go for the NYSC. Thank You

  11. there is one programme being run by university of south africa(UNISA) at the end of the programme they will award the candidate ……..BACCALAUREATE TECHNOLOGIAE they said it is a degree programme. can this certificate be acceptable by NUC?
    kindly find out for me …it is an ODL Programme
    anxiously expecting urreply

  12. Dear All ,

    I am interested in tertiary institutions who are prepared to partner with UK universities to offer courses. Wee are coming to Nigeria Q1 2014 and would like to make warm contacts ie owners of institutions mainly private ones. My details are attached

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