Discriminatory admission practices: A violation of the right to higher education
Wilson Nwankwo, Akinola Olayinka
The right to education is a fundamental socio-economic human right recognized by over 140 instruments such as national constitutions, covenants, conventions, and treaties across the world. In addition to the recognition of access to education at all levels as a fundamental right in its Constitution, Nigeria is also a signatory to some of the notable international conventions on human rights that rightly included the right to education. Education is basically classified as primary, secondary, and tertiary. Postgraduate studies as a vital component of tertiary education is often aimed at high level manpower development in skills, knowledge and research. As a matter of convention in most Universities, admission to higher degree program is often dependent on two basic factors: possession of requisite qualifications (by the prospective student) as stipulated by the relevant Institution and quota (number of spaces available) on the part of the Institution. This paper follows an analytical approach in discussing how admission to higher degree programs are conducted in public Universities in Nigeria having regard to the common regulatory framework provided by the National Universities Commission. Findings revealed the existence of myriad quasi-policies which are often discriminatory in the manner they are employed. The authors herein argued that such discriminatory conducts amount to an infringement to the rights of the citizenry and thereby calls on the appropriate regulatory authorities to wade into the situation to prevent a further erosion of the rights and privileges of persons who may have their future prospects thwarted by unscrupulous individuals who are habitually bent on frustrating public policies.