It is generally believed that private universities in Nigeria produce morefirst-class degree graduates than their public universities counterparts.
In July 2017, Covenant University, which is adjudged the best private university in Nigeria graduated 1,125 graduates and 118 of them finished with first class
In December 2017, 230 students graduated from Crawford University, Igbesa in Ogun state, 22 of them finished with a first class degree.
In public universities, especially the first generation universities in Nigeria, these figures are too high as these schools don’t produce first class graduates in great numbers.
For instance, in October, the University of Ilorin graduated over 9,000 students and only 89 of them bagged first class degree.
According to an investigation, in a period of five years, five of the first generation universities in Nigeria only produced 1, 661 first class graduates while seven private universities established in less than 20 years have reportedly produced 1,161 distinction students.
Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of Crawford University attributed the high rate of first-class degrees in private universities to lack of distractions such as ASUU strike which remains a bane of the Nigerian government controlled higher educational institutions.
However, a Lagos state university lecturer, who prefers anonymity has a different view about the proliferation of first class graduates in Nigerian private universities.
The lecturer identified marketing through first class degree awards is one of the reasons why private universities shun out more first class graduates than their public university counterparts.
He added that some private university managements decorate and package their students with first-class awards to attract more prospective students into the school.
More so, the lecturer said producing more first class graduates in private schools may also be possible because some of them have facilities some public universities don’t have.
Private universities are considered to be factories for the massive production of first class graduates as these varsities at every convocation graduate over hundred students with first class degrees.
Some of these universities truly have the facilities, sound lecturers and conducive environments to groom outstanding students but it is not certain if the high numbers of distinction students in these schools is a reflection of the students’ hardwork and intelligence level.