The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has clarified its position regarding the proposed “Top-Up” degree program in foreign offshore accredited universities for Nigerian graduates of the Higher National Diploma (HND) from polytechnics. The NBTE emphasized that the initiative falls beyond the jurisdiction of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
In response to inquiries about the HND Top-Up Program and the use of offshore credit transfer admission, Professor Idris Bugaje, the Executive Secretary of NBTE, addressed the matter in a letter to the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman. The NBTE statement was released by the Board’s spokesperson, Fatima Abubakar.
Earlier reports indicated that NBTE had partnered with foreign universities to allow HND graduates to convert their diplomas to degrees through a one-year conversion course, addressing the ongoing disparity between graduates of universities and polytechnics.
Bugaje highlighted the lack of progression paths for HND holders pursuing an academic career, urging the Minister to advocate for the signing of the Anti-Dichotomy Bill into law to eliminate discrimination against HND holders in Nigeria.
The NBTE clarified that the ‘top-up’ or ‘credit transfer admissions’ to foreign universities were seen as an alternative to the Postgraduate Diploma (PGD). The admissions were made by foreign universities, and their Senates awarded the degrees, not NBTE. The Board asserted that the entire process was designed to operate seamlessly without direct involvement from NBTE.
Addressing concerns raised by the NUC, the NBTE defended online programs as a globally accepted mode of education delivery in the 21st century. The Board encouraged the recognition of Nigerian HNDs and cautioned against further discrimination against HND graduates.