THE IMPACT OF ACCREDITATION ON THE GROWTH OF ACADEMIC LIBRARIES IN NIGERIA.

Author:Adetunla, Gbenga
 
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INTRODUCTION

Accreditation of programmes in higher institutions of Nigeria was designed by the National University Commission (NUC) to sustain quality of education and promote academic excellence among Nigeria University. For a university to be addressed as a world class citadel of knowledge, such university must possess a combination of special space, operational modalities and appropriate facilities. Such facilities to include, functional laboratories, classrooms, library and conducive learning environment (Omolewa 2010). The decline of cash inflow from crude oil in Nigerian has significantly puts a strain on government to fund and meet the increasing demands and requirements of university education in Nigeria. The library being the knowledge base and the heart of any academic institution which determines the intellectual vitality and the academic excellence of any university has been bedeviled by The dwindling budgetary allocation awarded her and has caused a decline in the way the libraries run their services and meet the information needs of their users thereby putting the libraries in a deplorable state.

However, there has been struggle upon struggles by the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASSU) in ensuring a gross improvement of the deplorable state of infrastructural developments on Nigerian University campuses. The efforts of ASSU have further stressed the federal government of Nigeria to empower the National University Commission (NUC) to lay down Maximum Academic Standards (MAS) for universities in the federation and to accredit their degrees including other academic awards. (Okojie 2008). Accreditation exercises since it started in 1991 continue to remain as the savior from total collapse of tertiary education in Nigeria. Accreditation now occupies the position of the "old almighty May/June West Africa Examination Council (W.A.E.C). examination" for the Vice-Chancellors, Rectors and Provosts of higher institutions in Nigeria which has compelled them to be on their toes year round in the area of accountability, productivity and the delivery of qualitative education across boards.

It therefore becomes imperative to evaluate the process of programs accreditation in Nigeria Universities to ensure that the process is meeting its set purpose which is to ensure a uniform Maximum Academic Standards and how it has helped the growth of Nigerian Universities. Fabunmi (2013) positioned that the academic health, intellectual vitality and effectiveness of any university depends largely upon the increasing growth of the library. Agboola, (2000) opined that no university can lay claim to academic excellence without a good library to back up its teaching, research and public service mandates. It is on this premise that this study investigates the impact of accreditation on the growth of academic libraries in Nigeria.

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY.

The general objective of the study is to examine the impact of accreditation on academic library growth in Nigeria.

The specific objectives are to:

1 find out if accreditation is improving the funding status of the academic libraries in Nigeria?

2 investigate how accreditation exercise has benefited academic libraries in Nigeria.

3 find out the challenges facing the academic libraries in Nigeria when there is no accreditation.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1 Does accreditation of programmes in the university improve the funding of the library?

2 How has accreditation of programmes benefited the library?

3 What are the problems encountered by the library when there is no accreditation of programmes?

LITERATURE REVIEW

University education in Nigeria was a follow up to the demand of post primary education following the establishment of secondary schools, the first being the church missionary society grammar school, founded in Lagos in 1859. Fafunwa, (2010) reported that the beginning of higher education for our people date as far back as the time of the abolition of slavery and the resettlement of the freed slaves in Freetown, Sierra Leone in the late eighteenth century. The delegation of the Elliot commission submitted its report in 1945 which led to the establishment of university colleges in Nigeria. In 1948, University College Ibadan was established which marked the beginning of university education in Nigeria. Fafunwa, (1971) asserted that, higher education in the Nigerian context has grown in importance from a profitable pastime for a handful of research scholars in the 1950' to a preoccupation of millions of Nigerians in the 1960's which he sees as the sine qua non of Nigeria development.

Obanya, (2010) reiterated that, for a university to be addressed as a world class university needed to belong to a unique 'universe'--that combination of special space, operational modalities, appropriate facilities, global outreach and collegiate atmosphere that is most conducive for the pursuit of its triple mandate of ,knowledge generation (or research), knowledge transmission (or teaching) and knowledge application (or Responsive social engagement).Pinto (2008) submitted that within the context of the current knowledge and living society in European higher education, academic libraries have witnessed evolving transformation. The libraries are becoming resource centers for permanent learning and research, focusing their efforts on the access and supply of information.

Omolewa (2010) opined that the challenges facing university education in Nigeria include improving the learning environment in the form of libraries...

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