University-Community Engagement in Nigeria: Evidence from Selected Universities

Andrew Onwuemele

Abstract


The imperative of knowledge based and inclusive development is making universities to realign their teaching and research missions to embrace community engagement. Using case studies of three universities in Nigeria, this paper examines how different types of Universities in Nigeria carry out community engagement and the nature of the benefits that accrues from the engagement. It also analyses the existing university policy framework with respect to university community engagement with a view to identifying the effectiveness of these policies in engendering university-community engagement in Nigeria. The findings revealed that the emerging policy to support community engagement at the universities does not provide for adequate framework to engender an effective university-community engagement. Besides, the reward systems of the universities do not support community engagement as a valid form of scholarship. Most of the university engagements are formal engagements with little or no link to immediate local communities. There is the need for a policy re-orientation that first integrates the principles of infusion model as a framework of the university community engagement policy. Secondly, the university community engagement policy must reward and recognize community engagement as a valid kind of scholarship among academics. This is a sine qua non in increasing university contributions to the development of their immediate communities.

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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