Vice chancellor’s admonition on university rules

Penultimate week, a letter written by the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Oyo State, Professor Dapo Asaju went viral. In the strongly-worded message to parents and guardians of the institution, the VC expressed his disaffection over what he described as overindulgence of the students by their parents and warned about raising the “next generation with the same corrupt and indisciplined ethos that has ruined Nigeria.”
While I have nothing against some of the rules set by some private varsities in the country, I am concerned that some of these rules and restrictions actually negate what a university stands for. Prior to the letter that instigated this write up, I have had interactions with some lecturers in private universities who regret ever abandoning the public varsity system for private varsities.
One of them told me that after attending several interview sessions and asking all the relevant questions needed for him to make a switch, nothing prepared him for what he later witnessed on ground. “One week into my employment, it appeared I had walked into a convent and not a university or a learning environment. There were rules for everything, from what you teach, to your academic relationship with your students; you are monitored,” he told me.
He also pointed out that the students were mostly between 14 and16 years old, and that it is only in extreme cases that you have students of 17 years and above. Another insight he gave – which I was already familiar with – was that these students mainly attended private secondary schools either as boarders or chauffeur driven to and from school. Many cannot even navigate their streets as they have never walked 500m radius away from home. “We have hyper-protective parents who want to practically ensure their children are under protective custody at all times.”

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