STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF CHALLENGES FACING ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN UNIVERSITIES, NORTH CENTRAL STATES OF NIGERIA
The study investigates strategic management of challenges facing entrepreneurship education in universities, North central states of Nigeria. The focus of the study was on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunity and threats in the management of entrepreneurship education in the universities. A descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The sample for the study was composed through a multi-stage sampling technique. This gave a sample of 763 respondents used for the study. Based on the review of literature, four research questions and four null hypotheses guided the study. A questionnaire titled, Entrepreneurship Education Strategic Management Questionnaire (EEdSMQ) was designed and used for the study. This instrument was validated and the overall reliability ascertained to be 0.76. From data collected, mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions while T-test statistic was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. Results show that the strength of entrepreneurship education in universities among others includes availability of funds by the government and for in-service training of entrepreneurship lecturers; and high enrolment of students for the EED programme. It was found that universities have weaknesses in the management of entrepreneurship education, but they also have opportunities of managing entrepreneurship education. Results further show that there is no significant difference between the mean responses of lecturers and coordinators on the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats to entrepreneurship education in the Universities. Based on this, the work recommends that, the universities authorities should make provision for lecturers to go for workshops or seminars so as to be exposed to current trends in EED programme. The Federal Government of Nigeria should maintain a policy aimed at making adequate fund available for entrepreneurship education in the universities, and a supervisory team should be set up to take the responsibility of maintaining a judicious expenditure of such funds. The government should also set up a blueprint on punishment of offenders for misappropriation of entrepreneurship education fund. University authorities should be equipped with entrepreneurial centres to expose lecturers and students to practical aspects of EED. Firms and industries should be more willing to accept students for industrial training as it strengthen the students’ interest in entrepreneurship education programme.
Background to the Study
The standard of education and its functionality has been a major concern for educational administrators in Nigeria, especially in this 21st century. This is probably due to global interest in education which has been identified as a means of development by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targeted towards eradication of poverty across the globe. In a bid to improve educational standards in Nigeria, different governments had come up with different policies in education, all aiming at solving inherent social and economic problems like arm-robbery, kidnapping, hostage taking, and graduate unemployment amongst others. Literature is replete with the fact that many Nigerian graduates leave the university without jobs and with little or no hope of securing any for many years. For instance, Dabalen, Oni and Adekola (2000) observed that, unemployment among graduates in Nigeria is high, and their prospects for job have been worsened over time and without hope. They recycle themselves as postgraduates. Others without such opportunity and no hope of self-sustenance engage in various antisocial and nefarious activities such as cultism, armed robbery and insurgency (Soludo, 2006). These challenges, according to Mando and Akaan (2013) are common among university graduates in the North central states like Kogi, Benue, Taraba, Plateau and Kwara. As a result, several graduates of Benue State University and University of Agriculture, both in Makurdi, have indulged in acts of cultism, armed-robbery and other vices not worthy of university graduates. This problem is indeed, a fallout of the inability of the government, especially in Benue State (since the inception of democracy in 1999), to provide job opportunities for the steaming graduates in the State
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