Institutional autonomy is a university s academic freedom to guide and direct the teaching and scholarship of its students and faculty. In this thesis I reveal the extent to and manner in which, despite the ideal of institutional autonomy, councils of universities in Nigeria are unable to resist political and external control over affairs of their universities. I further point to legislation that relieves universities of certain statutory powers.
I argue that the regulation of institutional autonomy of universities in Nigeria is such that it takes away the normal functions of a university, so lowering academic standards and impeding realisation of the objects of universities. Government established the National Universities Commission (NUC) to regulate academic standards. This function was hitherto within the purview of the Senate of a university. Also, with the establishment of the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) in 1978 senates of universities ceased to determine student admission criteria.
I argue that on account of such regulation, also the academic freedom of staff and students can no longer be guaranteed. The state of university autonomy as at present is not in the best interest of staff, students and the university. This manifests most clearly in the area of on-campus discipline, the enforcement of which has in some cases been externalized.
I recognize the gaps and omissions in laws regulating universities and submit that the various laws have to be revisited and the scope of operation of bodies like the NUC, JAMB, Governing Councils, Senates have to be reviewed.