Re-Engineering Change in Nigerian Universities for Quality Output

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RE-ENGINEERING CHANGE IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES FOR QUALITY OUTPUT

BY
Uche, Chineze M. (PhD)
nezenwam@yahoo.com
08033384427
And
Nwabueze, Akachukwu I.
Nwabueze_akaino@yahoo.com
08032651232
(Department of Educational Management, University of Port-Harcourt) Abstract
Re-engineering change in universities is about bringing transformation of vision, simplifying the change process thus, completely re-inventing the system for higher productivity and better services. This study looked at re-engineering change in Nigerian universities for quality output with focus on problems militating against quality improvement in Nigerian universities; ways universities can be re-engineered for quality improvement and the benefits of re-engineering change in universities. The framework guiding this work is the kaizen model of continuous incremental improvement. Three research questions and two hypotheses were posed to guide this research. It adopted a descriptive survey design with a population of all academic staff and administrative staff (Deans of Faculties and HODs of various Departments) of university of Port-Harcourt from which a sample size of 327 academic staff and administrative staff were drawn. Questionnaire tagged “RCNUQ” was used as the operational instrument, which was validated and a reliability index of 0.83 was determined using test-retest method. Mean and rank order were used to answer the research questions and z-test was use to test the hypothesis at 0.05 significant level. The findings revealed that the problems militating against quality improvement in Nigerian universities include: leadership failure, students’ poor attitude towards academic achievement, inadequacy of research, lack of teamwork among lecturers and students, lecturers’ attitudes towards commercializing examination grades and project supervision, poor quality of lecturers, admission based on “who knows who”, increasing high cost of education and inadequacy of infrastructural facilities; Universities can be re-engineered for quality output through the provision of informed and transformational leadership system, teamwork among staff and students, maintenance of self discipline among the academic staff, adopting private sector managerial techniques such as business process Re-engineering, admission based on merit, focus on continuous improvement efforts and re-positioning the weak managerial assumptions. The study recommended that informed and visionary leadership system should be encouraged in Nigerian universities, there should be self-discipline among academic staff of universities, and teamwork should be encouraged for knowledge sharing and generation of useful ideas.

Key Words: Re-engineering, continuous incremental improvement, Nigerian universities, self-discipline, team work and quality output.

Introduction
Re-engineering change in universities is about bringing transformation of vision, simplifying the change process thus, completely re-inventing the system for higher productivity and better services. Re-engineering is a fundamental rethinking and redesigning of organizational processes to achieve improvement in cost, quality, speed and services. Re-engineering strives to counter poor responsiveness to customer needs (Wilmot, 1994).

Expansion of higher education has led to a need for improved efficiency in administrative services, along with a greater range and flexibility in degree programmes. Re-engineering change in higher education focuses on the creation of knowledge and innovations, and how to manage the quality of higher education to serve the changing needs of the society. The creation of knowledge and innovation begins with identifying the existing and future needs of students and the society. Hence, there is a shift going on from closed innovation to open and networked innovation.

In common with other public sector institutions, higher education institutions are seeking to maintain the three “Es” of efficiency,...
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