UK Quality Assurance Agency appoints NUC boss into advisory Committee

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By Ngozi Nwankwo

The Quality Assurance Agency,QAA, of the United Kingdom has appointed the Acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Chris J. Maiyaki, into its International Advisory Committee,IAC.

Maiyaki’s appointment, which was conveyed in a letter by the Director of International and Professional Services of the QAA for Higher Education in the UK, Eduardo Ramos, is in recognition of his wealth of experience at the NUC as well as achievements recorded since his assumption of office as Acting Executive Secretary, including the approval of guidelines on Transnational Education,TNE, in Nigeria and Quality Assurance, in line with the Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standard,CCMAS.

The appointment comes on the heels of NUC’s licensing of two new private Universities and facilitation of the establishment of the first four Private Open and Distance Learning, ODL, Universities in Nigeria, aimed at resolving the challenges of equity and access to university education in the country.

The Director said that “international activities” form a crucial part of the agency’s efforts. And, it was to provide implementation guidance that the IAC was formed, and it would meet twice a year. Members of the Committee are expected to work together to provide strategic advice and direction, leveraging on their collective backgrounds and expertise in administration, policy development, knowledge of accreditation in higher education and diplomacy.

In acknowledging the appointment, Maiyaki expressed gratitude to the Quality Assurance Agency,QAA, of the UK, saying that he was excited by the opportunity given him to contribute in promoting the partnerships and collaborations that would certainly enhance the higher education landscape of the United Kingdom, Africa and, indeed, the world at large. According to him, the NUC, which is “the flagship that regulates university education in Nigeria”, recognises the critical role that quality assurance plays in ensuring excellence and continuous improvement within the higher education ecosystem.

“The commitment of the QAA in safeguarding standards and improving the quality of higher education in the United Kingdom is not only legendary, it also resonates with the mandate of the NUC,” he said. The NUC boss expressed confidence that the combined wealth of experience, expertise and insights of the Committee members would contribute to the fulfilment of the international agenda of the QAA on higher education.

It would be recalled that Maiyaki ceased to be a Director when he vacated the position, after serving in that capacity for five years and a few months following his appointment as Deputy Executive Secretary, DES, of the NUC, in October 2020.
He served as DES until July, 2023, when he assumed office as Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission, following the stepping down and voluntary resignation of the former Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, after seven remarkable years in the saddle.

That the NUC has since gained momentum, stability, visibility and steady progress under Maiyaki’s watch and tenacity of purpose, is beyond doubt a testament to his innovative power, indescribable loyalty, institutional memory and sheer hard work needed for the advancement of NUC’s regulatory citadel.