He explained that applications for the new universities are being received from groups of individuals, corporate organizations, foundations and faith-based organizations from all over the country.
Professor Rasheed spoke in Abuja today, Monday in a lead paper he presented at the maiden edition of the National Summit on Private Universities with the theme: “Private University Education Delivery in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities.”
The NUC boss said that the country currently has 170 universities out of which 79 are private with 38, representing 48.11 per cent, owned by faith-based organizations, while 41, representing 51.89 per cent, are owned by corporate bodies, foundations or individuals.
He said although there are many private universities in the country, most of them are still unable to fulfill their admission quotas as they admit barely six per cent of the total university admissions in the country per session.
According to him, the setbacks are not enough to stop the issuance of licences as Nigeria needs more universities to cope with the high demand for university education.
He admitted that private universities still face a number of challenges, including non-availability of quality infrastructure and facilities, merit-based student admission, staffing and sustainable funding, even as he said that in spite of these difficulties, the institutions have fared very well.
Speaking on the summit, he said that the programme is to serve as an avenue for the exchange and promotion of good practices in private university education delivery in Nigeria and to initiate a dialogue on the challenges and opportunities in the subsector.
“The summit is also aimed at supporting the Nigerian government’s effort at developing academic, institutional and executive capacities within the higher education subsector, to enable it compete effectively and be relevant in an increasingly knowledge-driven world economy.”