The National Universities Commission was established in 1962 as an advisory agency in the Cabinet Office. However in 1974, it became a statutory body and the first Executive Secretary, in the person of Prof. Jibril Aminu was then appointed.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) is a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Education (FME). The Commission has a Governing Council, its Executive Secretary is Prof. Abdulrasheed Abubakar, who assumed office on August 3, 2016.
In its over 54 years of existence, the Commission has transformed from a small office in the cabinet office to an important arm of government in the area of development and management of university education in Nigeria.
The main functions of the Commission are outlined as follows:
i. Granting approval for all academic programmes run in Nigerian universities;
ii. Granting approval for the establishment of all higher educational institutions offering degree programmes in Nigerian universities;
iii. Ensure quality assurance of all academic programmes offered in Nigerian universities; and
iv. Channel for all external support to the Nigerian universities.
The Commission has fourteen Departments; Department of Academic Standards, Department of Inspection and Monitoring, Department of Management Support Services, Department of Students Support Services, Department of Research and Innovations, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Finance and Accounts, Department of Quality Assurance, Department of Physical Planning and Development, Department of Open and Distance Education, Liaison Office Department, Department of Information & Public Relations, Department of Protocol & Special Duties and the Executive Secretary’s Office. Each of the departments is headed by a Director.
The Commission has recorded a number of successes since its inception. These successes can be attributed to quality of leadership, dedication and commitment of the staff, the quality of its Board members, cooperation received from Universities and support from the Federal Government.
As a coordinating body, the Commission ensures it discharges its responsibilities by recruiting adequate and relevant man power and appeals to the Universities for their sustained support and understanding. The Commission also relies on support from the Federal Government, State Governments and other stakeholders in its bid to improve on the quality of tertiary education and graduates of the nation’s university system.