The award of honorary degrees by Nigerian Universities has raised a lot of debates in the past with many saying the degrees are awarded to undeserving people in the society.
Often times, during a convocation ceremony of a University, several honorary degrees are given to people whose qualification raise doubts. High among the list of such unqualified people are political office holders or appointees.
To curb this, a new policy has drafted by the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, banning the nation’s tertiary institutions from awarding honorary degrees to any political holder or appointee while still in service.
On Monday, 1st October, 2012, the association released some guidelines for the award of honorary degrees in Nigerian universities.
Channels TV reports that the Secretary-General of the Association, Prof. Michael Faborode, highlighted the new guidelines: “The onward procedure for the award of honorary degrees enjoined universities to make it a policy not to bestow honorary degree on any person holding political office while still in service.
“The award of degree should be given to any professional who has made significant or ground breaking discoveries in the areas of accomplishments, invention, and innovation among others to societal development.
“This should not be tied to wealth consideration or political alignment, rather it should be based on leadership, service and the contribution of the recipient to social and economic development of the society”.
The Vice Chancellors also agreed to address the apparent abuse of the title ‘Dr’ by honourary awardees, who had not conducted any research work to earn the title.
Henceforth, the association warned that no university should be allowed to award honorary degree if it has not graduated any PhD or has no post-graduate school.
According to Prof. Faborode, it is “unconventional and therefore, not allowed.”