Over 1000 students at risk as NOUN reportedly scraps law programme

The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has reportedly decided to discontinue its law programme, causing an uproar among students who were close to completing their degrees.

Documents reviewed by SaharaReporters reveal that on January 25, 2023, the University’s Senate officially decided to terminate the law degree programme at the end of the 2023 second semester.

In response to this decision, a group of affected students, identifying themselves as “concerned law students,” appealed to the House of Representatives for help. In a letter dated October 27, 2023, the House acknowledged their request and promised to arrange a meeting between student representatives and the University’s management.

Despite several meetings facilitated by the National Assembly between November 2023 and January 2024, no significant progress has been made.

Over 1500 final-year law students are affected by this decision. These students, having invested significant time and money—approximately N3 million to reach their final year—now face the possibility of not graduating.

SaharaReporters had previously covered how NOUN students complained about not receiving graduation certificates and the University’s failure to hold convocation ceremonies, leaving many without proof of their academic achievements.

Despite denials from NOUN, the university, which operates on a distance-learning model, has frequently been at the center of accreditation and management controversies. Students often complain about the lack of communication from the administration regarding significant developments.

One anonymous student remarked, “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 is reported that the University aims to reapply for accreditation for the law programme and, as a result, will not admit new law students. However, this decision jeopardizes the futures of current 500-level law students who have invested five years in their legal education.

When contacted for comment, NOUN’s Public Relations Officer, Ibrahim Sheme, declined to speak on the matter, directing SaharaReporters to visit his office instead.

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