Sustainable Funding of Higher Education in Nigerian Universities in the Austere Period: Institutional Analysis

Aja-Okorie Uzoma, Onele Adali A.


In spite of the importance of higher education to national development, the problem of underfunding has constituted the bane to accessing quality education in Nigeria. Over the years there has been general outcry about poor quality of higher education despite government allocations to financing education. The trend has fallen short of UNESCO recommendations and as a result tertiary institutions have been encouraged to source for alternative funding mechanisms. The study aimed at investigating the funding of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki in order to ascertain major sources of financial inflows. Three research questions guided the study. Descriptive research design was adopted for the study. The area of the study was Ebonyi State University Abakaliki. The population of this study made up of six thousand seven hundred and twenty one (6721) academic and non-academic staff of the university under investigation. The sample of the study comprised of two hundred (200) academic and non-academic staff purposively selected for the study based on qualification and experience. The instrument for data collection was structured questionnaire entitled “Sources of Revenue Inflows into Funding of Ebonyi State University” (SRIFESU). The instrument was subjected to face-validation by three specialists-one from Measurement and Evaluation and two from the Educational Administration and Planning all in EBSU, Abakaliki. The reliability coefficient of 0.66, 0.69, 0.70 and the general reliability index of 0.68 were obtained. The questionnaire was administered and by the researcher. The data collected were answered using mean and standard deviation. The results showed that the state government is the major financier of EBSU, Abakaliki. It showed that university management complement through students’ school fees and levies. It also showed that the university funds the school through proceeds from consultancy services. It also showed that the extent the university explored external grants and international services are low among others. The study recommended among others that the university should explore other alternative funding mechanisms to improve on revenue generation to avoid over dependence on state allocation.

Keywords: university sustainability, funding, higher education, Nigeria universities, austere times

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