The National Open University of Nigeria is federally set up open and distance learning institution. It is also the first of its kind in the West Africa sub-region. NOUN is the Nigeria’s largest tertiary institutions when it comes to students’ number. It was set up on the 22nd July, 1983 to a pioneer in distant learning but on the 25th of April, 1984 it was suspended by the government. On the 12th of April, 2001 it was revived the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration and at inception they had a total of 32,400 students enrolled.
As at 2011, the university had 57,759 students. It operates from its administrative headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos with several study centres across the country. It offers over 50 programs and 750 courses. It doesn’t provide lectures in normal classrooms except in some study centres and this is due to some operational challenges of running the university. All the courses offered by the university all accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The Registrar of the University is the secretary to the council and senate bodies. He is vested with the general administration of the university with focus on council affairs, senate matters, and recruitment of staff, students’ admissions / welfare, staff welfare and other related activities.
NOUN Schools and courses include the following;
School of Science and Technology
-Mobile (Wireless) Communication Technology
-Agriculture and Extension
-Computer and Mathematics (Combined Hons)
-Agricultural Extension and Management
-Environmental Science and Resource Management
School of Health Science
School of Arts and Social Sciences
-French and International Studies
-Peace, Conflict and Resolution
-Political Science -Criminology and security studies
School of Education
-Early Childhood Education
-Admin and Planning
School of Management Sciences
-Entrepreneurial and Business Management
-Accounting in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria not accredited by NUC
NOUN Postgraduate courses
-Master of Business Administration
-Public Sector Management
Centre for Life-Long Learning and Workplace Training
Medical Office Practice
Academic Certificate Programmes
Dental Office Practice
Medical Office Practice
The university has been open to various students and individuals from all walks of life and other institutions of learning like the Open University of United Kingdom. The requirements for admission is not stringent but basic requirement like West African Examination Council, Diploma and proof of past institutions attended makes if almost accessible to all.
Most of the students in NOUN are mostly mature adults but there has been an increasing in the people between the age brackets of 17-25 years due to factors like technology usage in the university.
Due to an Act of Parliament the university was excluded from participating in any form unionism or strike actions like those of ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) that normally extend the stay of other students in their universities. The university also released a statement regarding the NYSC that their students can now enroll in the program and law students are allowed to proceed to the Nigerian Law Schools.
More so the university has also awarded degrees to prison inmates who participated in their convocations. These inmates are discharged after they receive their degrees from the university. Mrs Anthony Okoye, 43 was one of the overall best students graduating with a first class degree at the institution.
The university also has an online portal to make learning easier and technology driven for student. This also gives them the opportunity to network with other students as well. The university administers Computer-Based test examinations to its students in their first and second year in the institution. The CBT examinations are in two categories; multiple choice questions and fill in the gap category which highly dreaded by students around the world.
The institution has an e-library at the national headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos and students can have access to it with their ID cards. There is also radio station 105.9 NOUN FM that allows Mass Communication students to go internship.
NOUN as an institution has offered scholarships to some Nollywood starts like Ini Edo and Desmond Elliot. Chioma Chukwuka-Apotha, Francis Duru, Doris Simeon and Sani, Danja are presently NOUN ambassadors.