VCs are looking for private-sector help in funding public universities

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Professor Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun (FUPRE), has urged the private sector to assist tertiary institutions in raising funds for their development.

In an interview with journalists in Abuja ahead of the FUPRE’s planned education development roundtable, the Vice-Chancellor stated that government funding alone is insufficient to ensure adequate infrastructure and optimal performance of universities, particularly specialized ones.

Prof. Rim-Rukeh explained that universities’ educational sustainability and progress are threatened by their reliance on the federal government, which prevents them from achieving goals aimed at contributing to Nigeria’s economy.

“We are now saying that in order for the nation’s education to be sustainable, we must enlist the help of the private sector. A wide gap between industry and universities is also threatening the development and direction of universities,” he said.

He stated that in advanced societies, all university research is driven by industry, necessitating the need for synergy between the two.

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The roundtable, which is scheduled for July 27, 2021, will focus on improving institutional donations and endowment: a positive step toward advancement in technology and sustainable development in education, and will bring together industry experts and investors to help bridge the gap between universities and industry.

“The main goal of the FUPRE roundtable is to enlist the private sector’s support for the university’s development. One of our goals is to be able to look into all business possibilities for the commercialization of the university’s patent products. When we commercialize, both the investor and the university receive a percentage of the profits. The university’s intellectual property policy makes this clear.”

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