As a non-academic actor, one of the academic and opinion debates that you may not have heard of in the recent past is the battle by private universities to be part of the Tetfund project. Private varsities, seeing the value TETFund has contributed to the government universities have struggled to be listed as part of TETFund beneficiaries. The Tetfund stands for Tertiary Education Trust Fund. It was formerly known as Education Trust Fund (ETF) but was renamed in 2011 to be TETFund.
The TETFund project is one of the many outcome of ASUU struggles over the years. ASUU, in its latest defence of the use of strike actions as the only language the Nigerian government would listen to listed some fruitful results from ASUU strike actions to include TETFUND and Needs Assessment Project which addresses infrastructural decay. Meanwhile, ASUU, being an acronym for Academic Staff Union of Universities only covers public universities with no statutory ties to the private varsities.
Recently however, private universities have been clamouring to be part of the TETFund beneficiaries, a proposal that has met with maximum refusal by the ASUU. This issue has been at the front burner of numerous academic and opinion publicatons (Olawore & Ajayi , 2016 and Francis, 2021).
But then, as the February 14th, 2022 ASUU strike started, I was wondering, what if private varsities were allowed to be part of TETFund beneficiaries? I guess that automatically makes them shares same ideology with ASUU, subjecting them to the incessant strikes that have marred the Nigerian public universities.
All that glitters has never been gold. As private varsities eyes TETFund proceeds, they should know that he that depends on government funding is awaiting a future of stunted growth. Private varsities cannot actually benefit from TETFund and expect to be out of ASUU incessant strikes.
Private varsities must avoid monies from these sources else, they will have no choice than to behave like ASUU and engage in regular strikes to keep these monies coming.
As private varsities continue to press for funding, all third parties can do is hope that a better relationship smoothen out between the private varsities, ASUU and the federal government.
Olawore, O. P. & Ajayi , T. B. (2016). The emergence of private universities in Nigeria and their various challenges. Journal of Applied Information Science andTechnology, 9 (1).
Francis, W. O. (2021). Why TETFFund needs to be extended to private universities. Retrieved 20th February, 2022 from https://www.premiumtimesng.com/opinion/497819-why-tetfund-needs-to-be-extended-to-private-universities-by-francis-wale-oke.html