Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Harold W. Boles

Second Advisor

Dr. James Sanders

Third Advisor

Dr. Harold Boles


This was a historical study of the status of public financing of higher education in Nigeria. Primary data sources included published documents such as the Nigerian Constitution, Budget Estimates of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Reports of the National Universities Commissions, Federal Government Statistical Reports, Reports of the Central Bank of Nigeria, United Nations' Statistical Yearbook, the Commonwealth Year Book, reports of some other government agencies, and educational and financial journals. Three key individuals who have had wide experiences in matters related to higher education finances were interviewed.

The collected data were categorized according to the research questions to which they related. Narrative exposition of the data was presented.

The more significant findings of the study were: (1) The responsibility for higher education is vested, by the constitution, in the Federal and State Governments. However, all the existing thirteen universities are controlled and coordinated directly or indirectly by the Federal Government. (2) The Constitution provides for free higher education for all the citizens as and when the country can afford it. (3) There is no Legislative financial provision for the support of higher education. Financial support is provided in the form of yearly appropriations for which universities compete with other social services. (4) Nigeria's total expenditure for education in relation to the wealth of the nation ranked low when compared to the expenditures of many countries having developed or centrally planned economies. It also fell below those of many contemporary developing countries.

The significant recommendations were: (1) The legislature should establish a committee to monitor the performances of the universities. (2) The constitution should be amended to allow a private organization which desires to establish a university to do so. Investment in higher education should be the business of all Nigerians. (3) Higher education, like the other levels of education, should be the responsibility of the states. (4) The present pattern of funding the universities should be maintained.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Education Commons