FUNDING AND RESOURCE ALLOCATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION: A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED POLYTECHNICS IN NIGERIA
University of Southampton (UNITED KINGDOM)
Higher Education in Nigeria suffers from lack of funding and adequate resource allocation that cripples higher education (Yabani, 2006). The same scenario happens in most developing countries. This presentation will highlight my study of the funding and resource allocation in higher education in Nigeria, specifically polytechnic education.
In this study, I am guided by three research questions. First is; how is polytechnic education funded in order to achieve their missions? Second, how is budget prepared and implemented as a decision tool? Third is, how efficient and effective is internal resource allocation in Nigerian polytechnics?
The study employs qualitative methodology and an exploratory case study (Yin, 2003) to enable an in-depth understanding of funding and resource allocation as it affects polytechnic education in Nigeria. Comparative framework is employed and as such, this study looks at three polytechnic institutions representing Federal, State and private structure under variety of conditions in order to make useful comparisons. Data were based on triangulation comprising fifty-two (52) semi-structured interviews, one focus group, observations and documents. Participants were selected through theoretical sampling which included; institution administrators, faculty members, non-academic staff, and students. Grounded theory process (Charmaz, 2006) provides basis for the analysis of the study. Every campus was visited during the field work which lasted more than eighteen months.
Preliminary findings suggest that budget allocations to institutions are derived from two sources. The recurrent expenditure are provided by the public polytechnic owners one hundred percent (100%) and line-item method is used for the distribution on monthly basis while the capital expenditure are sourced from the two percent (2%) tax levied on all incorporated companies in Nigeria and are grossly inadequate. The private polytechnic does not receive any subsidy from the government but depend on tuition fees from the students. Further, the budgeting system being practiced by the public polytechnics are normative while that of the private is zero-based system.
On resource allocation within the institutions, the model is highly centralized as withholding and charging characterized the norm. Criteria for allocation are basically need-based. The study also reveals that there is strong relationship between accreditation and resource allocation while the concept of accountability remains basically internal and is not transparent enough in all the institutions.
The study therefore concludes that polytechnic institutions in Nigeria must seek for alternative sources of funding (Emunemu, 2008) and reduce their dependencies on governments and tuition fees. In the area of policy, there’s the need for strategic planning and management to be put in place while stakeholders accountability should be encouraged in order to improve theory and practice in the polytechnic sector in Nigeria.