EMPIRICAL EVALUATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
Abstract:The paper examined the impact of higher education on economic development in Nigeria. The study adopted a descriptive survey design and is guided by a research questions and one hypothesis. The sample consisted of academic staff and non-academic staff randomly selected from Federal Universities in South- West, Nigeria. The Universities and Economic Development Questionnaire (UEDQ) rated on 4-point response modes was the instrument used. The face validity of the instrument was ascertained by four experts made up of two senior academic staff and two senior non-academic staff. The internal consistency of the instrument was established using Cronbach Alpha. It yielded a coefficient of 0.76. Descriptive statistics (frequency counts and percentages) and t-test statistic were used to analyze the data. The result indicated that there are differences in the perceptions of academic staff and non-academic staff on the impact of higher Education in ensuring Economic Development in Nigeria but most importantly higher education has positive impact on economic development. It also showed that entrepreneurship, vocational and technical education were not fully integrated into the higher education curriculum for economic development. Based on the findings, it was recommended that higher education should aim at workforce development and education, entrepreneurship, and quality-of-life factors that will enshrine an economic development process.