Furthermore, these changes have other profound implications such as access to university education for the poor. As subsidised meals are discontinued and transportation commercialised, it is an uphill task for the children of the poor to receive university education. This is because, the new philosophy of payment as the basis for services simply places the financially indigent at such a disadvantage as to exclude him most of the time. This means that the postcolonial tradition of rapid intergenerational mobility through education which most of the leaders of the system enjoyed has effectively been halted. Without any relief or safety nets, the changes spell doom for the mass of the people and with it poverty is destined to become hereditary.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The survival of universities in Nigeria hinges on the extent to which they transform to markets. This is as a result of the on-going process of globalisation which has affected the capacity of the universities to enforce standards as true citadels of learning. The perception of the university as a place where degrees and diplomas are available for sale is strong, and so is the inability of future graduates to have good grasp of their disciplines. Indeed, Nigerian universities are now run and guided by market ethos due to globalisation which deepens by the day.
However, globalisation is not beyond control. What should be done is to take a deep interest in managing the challenges it poses. Firstly, Government should increase its assistance to the universities in terms of funding. Universities are not profit making ventures; therefore, their existence and survival should not be predicated on how much funds they generate. In fact, universities are places of general education for the advancement of knowledge and for specialist research work. They serve for the formation of the intellectual abilities of men.
Secondly, subsidised catering, transport and other services should be re-introduced by the university authorities. This will help reduce the exploitation of students by the private sector which currently provides these services. Related to this is that salaries of lecturers and other university staff should be adequate and regular. When staff welfare becomes the cornerstone of governance, workers are motivated to perform optimally and their patriotism is high. And patriotic workers will not indulge in personal aggrandisement and corrupt enrichment.
Furthermore, universities should begin to take their moral functions seriously. They ought always to promote social values. Courses that reinforce the moral fabric of the society should be expanded and made compulsory. Part of what this requires is that part-time programmes should either be discontinued or re-modelled to meet internationally acceptable standards.
Lastly, admission to the university and award of degrees and diplomas should be based on merit. The conferment of honourary degrees should be on individuals whose integrity is not in doubt, and who have contributed immensely in advancing the cause of humanity.