National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN): A Historical Perspective and Challenges

Terhemba Nom AMBE-UVA

Distance education has become an important policy option for educational planners in developing countries. In the context of Nigeria, increasing population, growing national demand for education, dwindling financial resources, increasing fiscal constraints, and therefore narrowing of access to education led to the emergence Open University in Nigeria to salvage the promise of education only to be choked prematurely to death. It’s subsequent re-emergence points to its imperative in salvaging the demand for placement in the universities in Nigeria. The review attests to this promise, despite the ups and downs and argues that the revitalisation of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) by the government has the potential to widen access and become a rallying point for higher education in Nigeria. NOUN will however face two major challenges as it seeks to transform the educational landscape: the first is that it needs to demonstrate that it can provide programmes of high quality to its students; second, it needs to be able to demonstrate that it can offer programmes cost-effectively. These challenges demand a refocus and a re-conceptualizations of the superstructure, distance education in Nigeria.

KEYWORDS: Revitalisation; Distance Education; Open Learning; NOUN; Policy