University Education Is Not For Employment, Says ASUU UNILAG Chairman

Emmanuel Egobiambu  
Updated March 4, 2022
Mr Ashiru believes university education is not for everyone.


Mr Dele Ashiru has faulted the belief that university education is tailored for employability, maintaining that graduates from the institutions are supposed to be employers of labour.

The Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Lagos State (UNILAG) chapter, made the comment on Friday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“There is a fundamental assumption that is wrong: university education is not for employability. That one is basic,” he said during the show. “If you have a good university education, you should be an employer of labour.”

According to him, access to university education is not for everybody, explaining that in developed nations; only a few people get to that level.

“If you look at systems all over the world, only a certain percentage of citizens in the country should be able to go to a university. The rest should go to what they call a polytechnic, a monotechnic, a technical college etc. such that by the time they finish from those institutions of learning, as it was in Nigeria in the past, they can move into the industry as artisans and all that,” the lecturer said.

For the ASUU UNILAG leader, the love for university education in the country is unnecessary; a situation he said does not bode well for Nigeria.

“And that’s why the pressure is on university education. Check any developed country in the world,” Mr Ashiru explained.  “Those who populate their universities are not from their citizens.”


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‘I Was Shocked They Went On Strike’

File photo of the Minister of Labour and Employment, dr Chris Ngige


His comment comes amid the ongoing nationwide strike by ASUU. The lecturers are in the third week of a month-long industrial action to press home their demands.

Already, a series of meetings have been held between the union and the Federal Government’s delegation but ASUU is accusing the government of reneging on its agreement with them.

On Thursday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said most of the union’s demands have been met by the Nigerian government.

“A lot of them have been dealt with after our meeting in October last year,” Mr Ngige said during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“That’s why I said I was shocked they went on strike. The only place where they have a point to hold onto and do their strike is on the issue of renegotiation of 2009 – conditions of service because their conditions of service were supposed to be reviewed.”

A few days ago, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) protested across the nation, demanding the reopening of campus. They are also asking to become a part of negotiations between ASUU and the Federal Government.

The strike is the most recent in a series of industrial actions by university teachers. It comes just a little over one year since the lecturers called off a nine-month strike.