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Accreditation outcomes, quality of and access to university education in Nigeria

R.A. Alani (University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria)
Gboyega Ilusanya (National Institute for Educational Planning & Administration, Nigeria)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Article publication date: 11 July 2008




In response to the challenges of enhancing quality, the agency of government which is responsible for coordinating university education in Nigeria, the National Universities Commission, evolved a system of academic programme accreditation in 1991 to ensure conformity with minimum standards and to promote quality. The purpose of this paper is to examine the outcomes of some of those accreditation exercises and how they have influenced the quality of and access to university education.


The paper analyses secondary source data from accreditation reports of 1999, mop up exercises and accreditation re‐visitation of 2000‐2005 and that of November 2005.


The mean percentage of programmes with full accreditation status was found to have increased from 12.6 in 1999 to 48.5 in 2005, that of programmes which got interim accreditation decreased from 72.66 in 1999 to 48.30 in 2005, while the one for programmes which were denied accreditation decreased from 17.9 in 1999 to 9.5 in 2005. Federal universities had more programmes with full accreditation and less programmes with denied accreditation status. State universities had less number of programmes with full accreditation and higher number with denied accreditation status. Generally, the results showed that accreditation status of most academic programmes improved in subsequent accreditation exercises, meaning that the deficiencies noticed were remedied. The programmes that were denied accreditation caused a reduction in the number of vacancies for student admission.

Research limitations/implications

The paper focuses on federal and state universities only. Private universities are excluded.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that the universities in Nigeria should be closely monitored for their academic programmes to scale the accreditation hurdle.


The paper shows that accreditation of academic programmes helps to improve the quality of university education.



Alani, R.A. and Ilusanya, G. (2008), "Accreditation outcomes, quality of and access to university education in Nigeria", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 301-312.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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