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Factors to consider when choosing a private/public university in Nigeria!!

private-public-universities

Private or Public? which is best for you,which do you prefer.
Many students these days choose private universities when making a
choice of institution. Still may others swear that public universities
still produce better quality graduates!
Here is a brief comparison between private universities and public universities in Nigeria.

Funding

The major difference between private and public universities is in
how they are funded. Public schools are funded by the Government while
private schools are funded by individuals and organizations.
Unfortunately, most Government funded universities have fallen into
varying stages of decadence – with government falling behind on funding.
On the other hand, private schools seem to be better funded which
somewhat affects the quality of education there
Verdict: Private Universities Win This

Tuition

Funding affects tuition. And since private universities are privately
funded, they are obviously more expensive. Tuition in private
universities is approximately 9-10 times higher than it is at a public
university. Some people even attest that the tuition can build a
comfortable 2 bedroom apartment!
This makes them inaccessible to lower class families (except they get a scholarship).
Verdict: Public Universities Win This

Prestige

Just the word ‘private’ gives the impression of exceptionalism and
prestige. Private is exclusive and it’s not for everyone. Students in
private universities carry a sense of being in a better situation than
their public counterparts.
Is this really an advantage? Some people think so.
Verdict: Private Universities Win This

Strike Action

Except you live under the rock, you must have heard of the numerous
strike actions by academic and non- academic staff of public
universities.
Academic staffs go on strike so frequently that a four year course ends up lasting for 6 years (that is if you are lucky).
It was in the wake of these issues (which seemed to defy all
solutions) that parents started seeking better alternatives – fueling
the private universities ‘business’. So far, I have not heard of any
academic staff strike in a private university (though I may be wrong)
Verdict: Private Universities Win This

Ease Of Getting Admission

Try getting into any of the ‘ivy league’ public universities (Like
UI, Unilag or Ife) to read a good course, and you will realize that you
have to pass Jamb very well!
Private universities on the other hand even have admission options
that automatically accept students to read certain courses! They have
made getting into the university so easy that the rigor required to get
into a public school is being ‘looked down on’
In my opinion, students need to ‘sweat’ a little to gain University admission, so they can value it!
Verdict: Public Universities Win This.

Lecturer/Student Relationship

Students in private universities generally build stronger, more
personal relationships with their lecturers as there are avenues
designed to increase communication and dialogue between them.
This generally does not happen in public universities.
Lecturers in the private schools seem to owe the students the duty to
be available to them, unlike in the public schools. This increase in
communication may lead to a better learning environment
Verdict: Private Universities Win This.

Developing Independence and Street Wisdom

Public universities expose students to the real world in terms of the
hustle and bustle of everyday life unlike private universities that
consist of semi –spoilt children who are literally spoon-fed.
They are so pampered (I hear some schools even do their laundry for
them) that they may find it difficult to blend into the real world when
they graduate.
Some might argue this point, claiming that they need time to study,
etc but what sort of backbone would they be developing being treated
this way. These are undergraduates who should be growing into adulthood!
The rules in some private universities are so ‘childish’ that it
underscores the joy and essence of being in University. This is the
stage in their lives where they need to become very independent as they
transition to adulthood.
Verdict: Public Universities Win This.

Curriculum and exams

The curriculum of private universities may not be as rigorous or
difficult as the public universities. And to make matters even worse,
there are rumors that lecturers in some of the ‘well known’ private
universities have been given a mandate to ensure all their students
pass. Where is the incentive for the students to study?

If you were such a lecturer, what would you do? Little
wonder there is a flurry of first class graduates from these
universities!

No such sentiments exist in the public universities – lecturers have
no qualms failing you if you don’t sit up. That is why students who
desire first class and second upper in the public universities go
through so many rigors to study. No wonder they are usually preferred by
some employers.
Verdict: Public Universities Win This.

Size and Degree Offerings

Another difference between private and public universities is their
size and the number of degrees they typically offer. Private colleges
tend to be smaller than public universities and may not offer the full
range of available courses.

Students who want a wider choice of courses can only find them at
public universities. In public universities, undergraduates will be
enrolled in academic programs ranging from traditional liberal arts to
highly specialized professional courses (like Medicine and
Engineering).   Private universities may not be equipped enough to offer
Medicine or Engineering courses
Verdict: Public Universities Win This

Learning Conditions

The class-size of public universities is a real problem.  At public
universities, the students are so many that they even spill outside the
lecture hall, with students sitting on the floor, window frames and even
on the lecturers table!

How easy can it be to actually learn under these conditions?

Students here have to work exceptional hard to succeed. Some
lecturers do not even attend class (with no consequences) and even those
that show up may not have much to offer – they are mostly interested in
selling their handouts!

Students in private universities are hardly faced with issues like these.
Verdict: Private Universities Win This

So, Public or private university – which will it be?
You  need to consider every factor in making a decision.
Identify  your goals, your course of study, costs, culture, and
environment before choosing between a public and private university.
Note that whether you go public or private, your chances in the job
market are basically the same (though I hear some employers still prefer
graduates from public universities). So whether you have spent millions
or thousands of Naira getting educated may not matter in the job
market!
Private or public, a lot depends on the individual and on how willing they are to get a quality education.
Or don’t you agree?
Public or Private University: Which Is Better?
Tell us your opinion in the comment box below.
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