ROTARY INTERNATIONAL: SERVICE ABOVE SELF AN IDEOLOGY WORTHY OF EMULATION (4)
“Based on these facts, it would be impossible for Nigerian Universities to compete favourably with any of the top universities in the world let alone drive innovation and maintain qualitative levels of delivery without donations, endowments or gifts from sources other than government”.
Last week I published a table (Figure 1) showing the amount budgeted by 12 foreign universities in 2014 and 2015. Figure 2 below is the Naira conversion of the amount stated in Figure 1.
|UNIVERSITY||TOTAL BUDGET||ENDOWMENT/DONATIONS||TOTAL BUDGET||ENDOWMENT/DONATIONS|
|2||UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA||1,883,998,770,000||50,040,300,000||2,029,199,145,000||55,123,845,000|
|10||UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD||438,051,200,000||11,301,900,000||533,128,900,000||9,399,600,000|
|11||UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE||560,992,000,000||9,325,000,000||610,974,000,000||9,511,500,000|
|12||UNIVERSITY OF LONDON||56,334,190,000||1,289,461,000||53,810,472,000||1,424,860,000|
Note: The Federal Government budget last year for all the Federal higher institutions in Nigeria in 2016 is N392,263,784,684.
Figure 3 shows that the endowment and donations from each of the twelve universities except three are more than the amount voted by the Federal Government for all higher institutions in Nigeria for the year 2015.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the staggering revenue of the Universities running into billion of Naira as stated above is due to generous donations, endowments and gifts from selfless individuals and concerned organisations.
Based on these facts, it would be impossible for Nigerian Universities to compete favourably with any of the top universities in the world let alone drive innovation and maintain qualitative levels of delivery without donations, endowments or gifts from sources other than government.
Improving education is a social issue that affects the potential competitiveness of any economy. Social improvements in this area can only lead to socio-economic benefits generally. Indeed education could be the most effective way of addressing many of the world’s pressing problems.
Education is so important because it helps us acquire knowledge of the world around us and changes us for the better, it helps us form opinions on many aspects of life, it converts information to knowledge and changes the social status of humans who acquire it. It solves problems and equips man with the ability to solve his problems. The aforementioned examples of outstanding American universities best illustrate the benefits of giving to education.
For emphasis let us examine the Stanford University example.
Stanford University presents a classic example of the importance of donations and gifts to a university. Stanford, a co-educational and non-denominational institution was established in 1891 by Leyland Stanford, former Governor of and US Senator from California with an endowment of USD5million. The present day value of which is $USD132 Million. It is one of the top fund-raising institutions in the country and became the first University to raise more than a billion Dollars in one year. Its Alumni have founded many companies including Google, Yahoo, Microsystems, Instagram and generate more than USD$2.7 trillion in annual revenue equalling the 10th largest economy in the world. It is the alma mater of 30 living Billionaires, 17 Astronauts, leading producer of members of US Congress and has produced 60 Nobel Laureates etc. In 2014, endowment and donation alone was $336,697,860,000while in 2015 endowment and donation was $368,147,895,000 which was much more than the total budget of Federal Government for all higher institutions.
The lesson from the Stanford story is that Nigerians, corporate bodies must emulate Rotary and contribute generously to education in accordance with international best practices.
To be continued…
AARE AFE BABALOLA, OFR, CON, SAN, LL. D, D. Litt, FCI. Arb, FNSE.