Impact of Ebonyi State University Multicampus system on Performance of Business Education Students.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

There has been a body of contemporary studies, writings and debates on consistency of quality and standards in Nigerian higher education. Among the range of factors that are identified as being pertinent to equivalence of quality across institutions, the multiple- campus organization of some universities has become a focus of increasing attention (Abbott & Doucouliagos, 2003; Blunden, 2002; Bundy, 1998; Calvert, 2001; Davis, 2005; Elson-Green, 2006; Gamage & Mininberg, 2003; Harman, 2006; Harman & Harman, 2003; Wimshurst, Wortley, Bates, &Allard, 2006, etc.).

The ways in which higher educational institutions are geographically organized can be classified into three categories: (a) the single-campus university; (b) the university with a main campus and one or more small satellite campuses; and (c) the multi-campus university comprising multiple geographically dispersed campuses, each with a substantial student load. In the multi-campus model, academic services, resources and support facilities are not concentrated on any one site, but are typically dispersed and often replicated across campuses and managed through a centralized administrative system (American Association of University Professors, 2006; Harman & Harman, 2003; French, 2003; Willoughby, 2003).

In its multi-annex dimension, Ebonyi State University has always aimed at being one of the outstanding state Universities unequalled in the country. EBSU is constantly repositioning itself in pursuit of pride of place and greater dynamic vote in pure Research and Development (R & D), both at the graduate and post-graduate levels.

More precisely, in this study multi-campus universities are defined as institutions with three or more campuses, which have at most 60% of their total student load on the largest campus. This measure, suggested by Griffith University (2005), captures the notion that ‘multi-campus’ means having more than two campuses, none of which are small satellite campuses. A more stringent definition of multi-campus might include only universities with 50% or less of total student load on the main campus.

Why bother undertaking a comparative analysis of multi- campus versus other universities? There are several reasons for this. A review of the literature indicates that universities have differing missions with regard to student access and equity.

The current Nigerian Federal Education Minister’s focus on specialization versus comprehensiveness in higher education also appears to have specific implications for multi-campus universities. The minister has indicated that a number of highly specialized institutions could co-exist with a smaller number of large, comprehensive universities (Elson-Green, 2006). This somewhat differs from an earlier government viewpoint that a consolidation of small, specialized institutions to create fewer, but larger and more comprehensive, multi-campus universities would achieve greater breadth and depth of course offerings, and hence greater diversity of course and subject choice (James, 2004).

Ebonyi State University started with a resolution of the then Military Administration of Anambra State, which was later upheld under Chief Jim Nwobodo’s civilian administration. On July 30, 1980, the then Anambra State Government established the Anambra State-University of Science and Technology, ASUTECH by law no 7 of 1980, thereby establishing the first University of Science and Technology in Nigeria. The ASUTECH Edict no. 20 of 1985, put in place a four-campus structure with the faculties of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary medicine located in Abakaliki. Lectures started in the Abakaliki campus Faculty of Agriculture in November, 1987 with 55 students and 15 academic staff including students of the department of Horticulture and Plant Protection transferred from Awka campus of ASUTECH. The Faculty graduated the first batch of students in 1991/92 academic session.

In 1987, a pre-science school was established at the Abakaliki campus of ASUTECH. On August 27, 1991, Enugu State was created out of the old Anambra State so that ASUTECH campuses in Enugu and Abakaliki were inherited by Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT via Enugu State Government Edict no. 33 of 1991 and amended in 1995 with the Abakaliki campus remaining as the new ESUT Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. The College of Medicine was added a year later in 1992.

At the creation of Ebonyi State in 1996, the Abakaliki campus of the then ESUT, was upgraded to Ebonyi State University College by Edict no. 5 of Ebonyi State, 1998 still affiliated to ESUT with Prof. Fidelis Ogah, former ESUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor.as the first Rector. In 1997, the Faculty of Applied and Natural Sciences with 8 departments was added to the fledging University and later in 1998 when the ESUT Pre-Science Programme was relocated to Nsukka, the EBSUC Pre-Degree School commenced lectures in both Science and Arts in replacement of the former.

The major landmark that launched the institution/college to her present status came in 1999 when His Excellency, Dr. Sam Ominyi Egwu, 1st Executive Governor of Ebonyi State announced the upgrading of the University College to a full-fledged multi- disciplinary University. The establishing law (Ebonyi State University law No 7, 1999) received executive assents of His Excellency in January 14, 2000 with Prof. Fidelis Ogah as the first Vice-Chancellor. Resulting from the autonomous status, 4 additional faculties were created viz: the Faculties of Arts with six departments; Education comprising six departments and Management and Social Sciences having nine departments. In the year 2000, the Faculty of Law, School of Postgraduate Studies and Work and Study Programme (WASP), a week-end programme mapped out for workers who desire university education while retaining their jobs was established. In 2002, a new Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology was established. It took off in 2002/2003 academic year with Departments of Nursing Sciences and that of Medical Laboratory Sciences.

Statement of the Problem

Goussal and Lezcano (2003) stated that academic, administrative and financial challenges experienced by multi-campus universities tend to affect the academic performance of the students compared to others with one administrative unit. These challenges include delivering the same subjects, programs and courses with equivalent quality on several campuses and it also include provision of equivalent, affordable and accessible facilities and resources across campuses (Bundy, 1998; Crevald, 2001; Lynch, 2003); and the significant costs to students, staff and faculties of such teaching and administrative replication (Freeman, 1998; Naidoo, 2000). In same vein, some have noted that many multi-campus universities are less well-resourced than the older, traditional, single-campus universities.

Having classes and services on more than one campus presents logistical challenges. Which faculty and staff should be based at the “other” campus? What classes should be held there? What transportation programs are needed? How do you ensure that those heading over there for class don’t miss too much on the main campus because of the travel time? From the foregoing, the problems and effects of multi campus could be summarized as inadequate instructional materials for teaching and learning; Problem of hostel accommodation; financial pressure on the students and others, hence tend to find out the impact of Ebonyi State University multi campus system on performance of Business Education students.

Purpose of the study

The study investigates multi-campus system: Its impact on performance of Business Education students of Ebonyi State.

Specifically, it tends to:

  1. Ascertain the effect of instructional materials on academic achievement of business education students in Ebonyi State University.
  2. Ascertain the impact of multi-campus on academic performance of Business Education students in Ebonyi State University.
  3. Find out if financial pressure affects the learnability of Business Education students in Ebonyi State University.
  4. Determine if hostel accommodation has effect on the students’ academic achievement.

Significance of the study

This result of this study will be of benefit to government, administrators, students, lecturers, researchers and other users of information.

For the government, the information will help in better planning of the institution in meeting its needs and academic objective.

To the school administrators, the study will guide them on what to expect from students as regards achievement and performance amidst challenges of having more than one campus.

To students, it will help them for better planning, of their activities, making choice of hostels to live in as well as encourage them on how to sit up and get used to the credit hours despite the institutions short of time in learning.

The findings of this study will also help lecturers in planning of lectures and understanding students’ challenges.

Research Question

The following research questions guided the study;

  1. What are the effects of instructional materials on academic achievement of business education students in Ebonyi State University?
  2. What are the impacts of multi-campus on academic performance of Business Education students in Ebonyi State University?
  3. How does financial pressure affect the learnability of Business Education students in Ebonyi State University?
  4. What effect has hostel accommodation on the students’ academic achievement?

Scope of the Study

This study is focused on the Business Education students of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki. Ebonyi State University is a higher institution of learning; a state university which started from the creation of Ebonyi State in 1999, and has graduated students. Ebonyi State is housed in campuses formerly belonging to the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) and the Anambra State University of Science and Technology (ASUTECH) and presently made up of five (5) campuses namely; CAS, Presco (CHS), Perm Site, Ishieke and Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital.

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