NOUN Scraps Law Programme, Leaves Over 1000 Students’ Career In Jeopardy

Law students at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) are facing significant challenges after the university management decided to scrap the law program, leaving many students nearing the completion of their projects in a difficult situation.

Documents reveal that the university’s Senate ratified the decision to discontinue the law degree program on January 25, 2023, set to take effect at the end of the 2023 second semester. This decision affects over 1,500 final-year students, who now risk not graduating despite having invested substantial amounts of money and time in their studies.

Concerned law students sought help from the House of Representatives, who acknowledged their plea in a letter dated October 27, 2023. The House promised to facilitate a meeting between the student representatives and the university management. While meetings were held between November 2023 and January 2024, no meaningful resolution has been achieved so far.

Students have expressed their frustrations, citing the high costs associated with their studies—approximately N3 million to reach the final year—and their inability to receive graduation certificates. This situation has left them without proof of their academic achievements, further complicating their professional prospects.

Additionally, students have criticized the university for its lack of communication regarding significant developments and for failing to address their concerns adequately. One student noted that they first learned about the decision to scrap the law program through social media, rather than from an official communication from the university.

The National Open University, which operates through a distance-learning and study center model, has faced various controversies related to accreditation and management issues.

“We were not notified, we only saw a statement on social media suggesting that the law programme would be stopped after we spent how many years on it and no one has offered any form of apology or genuine concern”.

It was also gathered that the university intends not to take in new law students in order to seek fresh accreditation for the law programme; however the legal dreams of the current 500-level law students and their investments for five years is threatened by the development of the institution’s law programme.

The Public Relations Officer of NOUN, Ibrahim Sheme, refused to comment on the development when contacted, asking SaharaReporters to instead visit him at the office.