TWO university dons, Professor Abiodun Amuda-Kannike, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive, Universities United Kingdom (UUK) have added their voices to the calls for emergency funding of the education sector in Nigeria and United Kingdom respectively, to prevent total collapse over adverse effects of the Coronavirus code-named covid-19.
Amuda-Kannike, a Professor of Law and the Provost, College of Law, Kwara State University, Malete made the appeal during the weekend calling on governments for robust interventions particularly research funding to enable academic institutions weather the storm in which the society has been subjected to on account of the covid-19 contagion.
Prof Amuda-Kannike stated that on account of recession which is foreseeable following Covid-19, funding will be necessary to support the tertiary institution which already are underfunded compared to western nations, arguing that if those well-funded are complaining, what will be the fate to those underfunded after the end of the epidemic.
“Essentially, there is the need to also use tertiary institution to develop our health sectors in Nigeria through research funding and not the ‘fire-brigade’ approach we found ourselves during the outbreak of the epidemic as a proactive measure for the future, Amuda-Kannike stated.
Likewise, Alistair Jarvis, who prior to his current position was Deputy Chief Executive; and earlier, Director of External Relations at Universities UK, lamented via tweeter, that Universities across the United Kingdom (UK) earnestly need emergency funding of at least £2 billion, cautioning that some institutions may collapse without such emergency funding.
Before joining UUK in 2013, Jarvis was a Director at the University of Birmingham and has previously held communications, campaigning and political relations roles for national organizations in both the public and private sectors.
“Urgent support vital to ensure universities are able to weather serious financial challenges posed by COVID-19 including to protect students, maintain research, prevent institutions failing, retain capacity to drive recovery of economy and communities.
“Universities face a financial storm – that’s why we government to help. Universities are projected to lose nearly £800 million this year, with further loses with further losses expected. We cannot face this crisis alone”.
“The Government and the higher education sector must jointly take action to ensure universities across all four nations of the UK are able to play a central role in the recovery of the economy and communities following the COVID-19 pandemic”, Jarvis stated.
Also, the Universities UK in its portal had pledged its determination to contribute meaningfully to the Covid-19 struggle with human and capital resources at its disposal.
“The coronavirus pandemic is threatening to sharply cut overseas student numbers and put universities in financial danger.
“Universities have responded in the face of this unprecedented challenge with great determination and invention.
“UK universities are central to developing skills, knowledge, research, driving regeneration, social mobility and innovation, Universities UK (UUK) has written to government outlining what is needed for universities to weather the financial challenges posed by Covid-19”, UK Universities tweeted.