Unequal Access to Tertiary Education And Implication for National Security


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Unequal Access to Tertiary Education; Implication for National Security is a well-researched topic, it can be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research.


This paper examines the growing rate of unequal access to tertiary education among Nigerian youths and its implication for national security. Although bias has existed during the colonial era, recent events reveal high waves of access-inequality and prejudice. Following the trend of violence, terrorism, and insecurity in Nigeria today, this paper contends that youth education, reorientation, and empowerment organized through unbiased processes are fundamental requisites for socio-economic, political, and national security. The paper argues further that the number of youths who enjoy unrestricted access to tertiary education is unequal to the number of those who find it a privilege rather than rights. A significant number of Nigerian youths are
illiterate and resultantly gullible to anti-social cajoles courtesy of rapacious and nefarious political leaders who use them as tools for disrupting the nation‟s political and democratic stability. This is done through the rigging, thuggery, and religious violence which are detrimental to national peace and security. The paper, therefore, concludes that there is an urgent need for government, educational policymakers, and stakeholders to repackage educational priorities in such a way to remove all biases preventing youths, especially the poor, from enjoying educational opportunities. This will help, a great deal, in curbing youth‟s involvement in activities that are
inimical to national security.


There seems to be gradual neglect, in our discussions, about the inherent inequalities in our selection process for candidates to higher education in Nigeria. This is in spite of the fact that Nigerian administrative and legislative norm provides for equal opportunity and access to education among people irrespective of nationalities, residence, and sex. Although educational inequalities is a global phenomenon, Igbuzor, (2006) and Subrahmanian, (2002) have documented that “across the globe, there are inequalities in educational access and achievement as well as high levels of absolute educational deprivation of both children and adults”. Meanwhile, education is a human right that should be accorded to all human beings solely by reason of being human” (Igbuzor, 2006) This is incongruent with the goals of university education as stated in the National Policy on
Education which among others, aims at “developing intellectual capacity, developing values for the survival of individuals, manpower training, providing an enabling and the conducive environment as well as acquiring both physical and intellectual skills that will enable individuals to be self-reliant and useful members of the society” (FRN, 2004) It states further that “every Nigerian child shall have rights to equal educational opportunities irrespective of any real or imagined disabilities each according to his or her ability. “The provision of equal access to educational opportunities for all citizens of the country at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels both inside and outside the formal system is the objective of the policy” (Moti, 2010) and its philosophy is in consonance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1996) which asserts that “everyone has a right to education”. Other international human rights instruments (such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966); and the African Charter on Human and Peoples‟ Rights (1981) also recognize
education as a fundamental human right. Nigeria definitely is a signatory to all of these conventions and recognizes the importance of education to national development.

However, inequalities and marginalization of various kinds among different social groups represent one of the biggest problems facing Nigerian society today. (Igbuzor, 2006; Subrahmanian, 2002) Educational
opportunities have been reshuffled and the role of higher education has been transformed. The pursuit of educational goals is rapidly going down the drain. Consequently, educational standard in Nigeria today is being accused of incapable of oiling the wheel of sustainable development. Unfortunately, instead of expanding and equalizing educational opportunities in our country, much of higher educational institutions have simply become a platform for showing off social status. A larger portion of the Nigerian population, as a result, lacks access to tertiary education. The literacy level in the country has resultantly deteriorated, especially within the age group of 15 and 24. (NMDG, 2005) This is highly discouraging because certain socio-economic and institutional factors, among others, prevent the majority from being educated. “In fact, the disparity in access to education in Nigeria takes several forms; from gender disparities in the educational systems to disparities between demand and supply, disparities between urban and rural schools, and between educational institutions owned and controlled by the Federal Government and those owned and controlled by the States and private agencies. The list is endless”. (Ofoha, 2011) The argument here is that whether these pull of illiterates lacks access to education based on the constraint of accessibility, affordability, or admissibility or base on designed denials in the educational system, it surely must have a significant effect on the socio-economic and political stand of the nation. The above issue becomes significant with the recent ubiquitous of terrorism, youth restiveness, hooliganisms, and other socio-political vices experienced in Nigerian today. “An idle mind they say is devil‟s workshop”; it is „devil in action‟ when such mind is youth‟s. Hence, it becomes imperative that this topic should cease from being neglected for the sake of Nigerian economic development and socio-political security. It is in light of this that this paper strives to discuss inequality in access to tertiary education with a view to establishing its possible impact on the state of Nigerian national security.


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