Olurotimi Ajayi, the vice-chancellor of Crawford University, has said private institutions produce more first class degree holders “because of the lower rate of distractions”.
Ajayi said this in an interview with NAN ahead of the 9th convocation of the university.
“When we consider the academic atmosphere in private universities and public ones, we can see a wide range of difference because at the private universities we don’t tolerate distractions,” he said.
“There is more deliberate dedication to academic excellence than all the side attractions that pervades the public institutions. There are differences.
“Activities such as social functions, student activism in public institutions may tend to make some students lose focus, but in the private universities they are at the lowest ebb.
“It is not the case that students in the private universities don’t socialise, they do, but their academic pursuit comes first, no time for excessive partying.
“In private universities, we don’t allow for idleness of any kind; it is strictly business and students themselves know this right from the point of entry.
“Sometimes, public universities face serious industrial unrests which tamper with the academic calendar; with this, students tend to lose focus.
“One of the great disadvantages is industrial action by public universities’ lecturers, they can be on strike for two or three months even more than that in some cases.
“Strikes are not healthy for academic development because the students will have to start again from where they left it. In private universities it is a smooth sail for academic calendar.
“Also, we don’t allow student to be idle, they are actively engaged and closely monitored except those that are unwilling to learn,’’ he said.
Ajayi said academic excellence was the hallmark of the private institutions since they had it at the back of their mind that they have competitors who were also in pursuit of the same goal.
“Our vision at the private universities is academic excellence because we compete within ourselves which I think is a healthy rivalry. We strive to produce the best students.
“In private universities, lecturers know what they must do and that they must not miss any lecture. It is impossible to do that. We don’t tolerate it at all.
“Students themselves are aware of these standards; so, on their part, no skipping of lectures, what excuse will they give? They are in the school for full academic pursuit; others are secondary.
“The lecturers know that marks given must be defended, so extra caution are made when marking because they must not be caught wanting; we have standards.”
The vice-chancellor said other reasons were the financial implication on the part of the students because they pay higher fees than their public institution counterparts.
“Let’s also consider how much the parents of these students cough out for their tuition fees and others, who will not be serious with that.
“They know what they are here for and the parents themselves would have warned them of toying with their investments.
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“Private universities are not cheap, so the students are also wary of coming out with lesser results. Suffice is to say that they study harder than their public institution counterparts.
“Go to our libraries in the dead of the nights, you will be amazed to see them filled to capacities with students who are ready for knowledge; we just don’t award marks, we reward excellence.”