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The Contention Between Citadels Of Learning (Private and Public) Part 2 - ETCSINES

The Contention Between Citadels Of Learning (Private and Public) Part 2 - ETCSINES

We started Yesterday and we were able to share with us some comparison between the private and public institution. We will continue on that note today. Do read on.

Just the word ‘private’ gives the impression of exceptionalism and prestige. Private is exclusive and it’s not for everyone. Students in private universities carry a sense of being in a better situation than their public counterparts.

Is this really an advantage? Some people think so.
Verdict: Private Universities Win This

Strike Action
Except you live under the rock, you must have heard of the numerous strike actions by academic and non- academic staff of public universities.
Academic staffs go on strike so frequently that a four year course ends up lasting for 6 years (that is if you are lucky).

It was in the wake of these issues (which seemed to defy all solutions) that parents started seeking better alternatives – fueling the private universities ‘business’. So far, I have not heard of any academic staff strike in a private university (though I may be wrong)
Verdict: Private Universities Win This

Ease Of Getting Admission
Try getting into any of the ‘ivy league’ public universities (Like UI, Unilag or OAU) to read a good course, and you will realize that you have to pass Jamb very well and be twice as lucky!
Private universities on the other hand even have admission options that automatically accept students to read certain courses! They have made getting into the university so easy that the rigor required to get into a public school is being ‘looked down on’
In my opinion, students need to ‘sweat’ a little to gain University admission, so they can value it!
Verdict: Public Universities Win This.

Lecturer/Student Relationship
Students in private universities generally build stronger, more personal relationships with their lecturers as there are avenues designed to increase communication and dialogue between them.

This generally does not happen in public universities except you are the class representative, a member of the departmental or faculty executive or a member of the student political setup.
Lecturers in the private schools seem to owe the students the duty to be available to them, unlike in the public schools. This increase in communication may lead to a better learning environment
Verdict: Private Universities Win This.

Developing Independence and Street Wisdom
Public universities expose students to the real world in terms of the hustle and bustle of everyday life unlike private universities that may consist of 'semi –spoilt' children who are literally spoon-fed, there is a high tendency since most students in private universities come from affluent and comfortable families. 
They are so pampered (I hear some schools even do their laundry for them) that they may find it difficult to blend into the real world when they graduate.
Some might argue this point, claiming that they need time to study, etc but what sort of backbone would they be developing being treated this way. These are undergraduates who should be growing into adulthood!
The rules in some private universities are so ‘childish’ that it underscores the joy and essence of being in University. This is the stage in their lives where they need to become very independent as they transition to adulthood.
Verdict: Public Universities Win This.

Curriculum and exams
The curriculum of private universities may not be as rigorous or difficult as the public universities. And to make matters even worse, there are rumors that lecturers in some of the ‘well known’ private universities have been given a mandate to ensure all their students pass. That is why even in instances where some students in private universities fail in some courses they come during the holidays for 'summer coaching' and they eventually scale through. The incidence of ‘carry over’ is drastically much lower than that of a public university. Where is the incentive for the students to study?
If you were such a lecturer, what would you do? Little wonder there is a flurry of first class graduates from these universities!
Such sentiments in the public universities is of a low degree – lecturers have no qualms failing you if you don’t sit up. That is why students who desire first class and second upper in the public universities go through so many rigors to study. No wonder they are usually preferred by some employers.
Verdict: Public Universities Win This.

Size and Degree Offerings
Another difference between private and public universities is their size and the number of degrees they typically offer. Private colleges tend to be smaller than public universities and may not offer the full range of available courses.
Students who want a wider choice of courses can only find them at public universities. In public universities, undergraduates will be enrolled in academic programs ranging from traditional liberal arts to highly specialized professional courses (like Medicine and Engineering).   Private universities may not be equipped enough to offer Medicine or Engineering courses
Verdict: Public Universities Win This

Learning Conditions
The class-size of public universities is a real problem.  At public universities, the students are so many that they even spill outside the lecture hall, with students sitting on the floor, window frames and even on the lecturers table!
How easy can it be to actually learn under these conditions?
Students here have to work exceptional hard to succeed. Some lecturers do not even attend class (with no consequences) and even those that show up may not have much to offer – they are mostly interested in selling their handouts!
Students in private universities are hardly faced with issues like these.
Verdict: Private Universities Win This

So, Public or private university – which will it be?

Identify  your goals, your course of study, costs, culture, and environment before choosing between a public and private university.

Note that whether you go public or private, your chances in the job market are basically the same. Private or public, a lot depends on the individual and on how willing they are to get a quality education.

Part 3 coming up soon

Writer: Tola Arawomo

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