Alongside decaying structures, lack of learning equipment, obsolete teaching materials and excessively theorized curriculums with little to no practical classes for the average course, Nigerian federal universities have had to contend with offering undergraduate students courses found to be old, often non-lucrative and generally impractical for the times we are in.
The failure of federal universities to incorporate more technical modes of teaching with courses that not only have a diverse and bubbling market undergraduates can look forward to fitting into but to equip students with knowledge that would give them sufficient footing when branching out and navigating future career developments that seem to be cropping up with each technological breakthrough.
The NUC’s announcement to unbundle the mass communication degree, which a high number of hopeful university applicants gun for, into seven new programs: Journalism and Media studies, Public Relations studies, Advertising, Broadcasting, Film and Multi-Media Studies, Development Communications Studies, and Information and Media studies.
These new departments sound like progress in the best of ways, and if well managed, would actually see a high number of Nigerian graduates marrying both the academic and technical empowerment these courses can offer and finding their way around the evolving career landscape. A host of Nigerian courses cannot be banked on as there just aren’t market for them anymore. And this development, and more like it could really change that for graduates who find themselves stranded after leaving the university.
Nonetheless, there is the question of whether or not universities are willing and able to give these courses due attention. It would also be encouraging to see media practitioners partnering with these departments by offering training and bursaries if they can, because it would go a long way in building future media giants.
Nelson C.J is a culture writer with works in The New York Times, Xtra Magazine, OkayAfrica, Black Youth Project, AfroPunk, and a few other spaces. You can find him saving dog pictures on Twitter.