The role of academic libraries in the accreditation of undergraduate programmes: a case study of Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger state.
Background to the study
The accreditation of degree and other academic programs is an acknowledgement process in which standards, guidelines and procedures are evaluated to ascertain the quality of a particular program by accrediting authorities which are either government agencies or professional bodies. Okebukola (2006) opined that accreditation of undergraduate programs in Nigerian Universities is meant to ensure that the provision of Minimum Academic Standard documents is attained, maintained and enhanced. It is a process of examining the obtainability and adequacy of resources, merit rating of resources and programs in order to enhance the quality of output. Accreditation as a process ensures that the curriculum, personnel, infrastructure, learning materials as well as the learning environment satisfy the needs and relevance of a university to achieve their predefined objectives. It is the process of evaluating from time to time, the academic standards of various undergraduate programs in various higher institutions of learning. In Nigeria, accreditation function is administered by the National University Commission (NUC) for all universities (including Federal, State and Private Universities), whereas the National Board for Technical Education (NABTE) handles that of Polytechnics and Mono-technics and finally, the National Commission for Colleges of Education who are concerned with the accreditation of other higher educational institutions like colleges of education and other institute that are responsible for training teachers It is also important to know that some professional or specialized courses are assessed by separate body or agencies. Some of these professional/specialized courses include: law, medicine, engineering and accounting.
The role of the National University Commission is to ensure that accreditation of academic programs, is made evident with continuous monitoring of these programs and subsequently, the accreditation of universities all through Nigeria. It is in this regard that Akomolafe (2009) pointed out the various benchmarks for accreditation of academic programs such as; to examine adequacy of admission requirements; resource assessment at the inception; scrutinize the fitness of philosophy of the programs and academic status of academic personnel. She further identified adequacy of office accommodation and curriculum in line with National University Commission Bench mark; budget allocation to departments; examine external moderation of scripts; results; scores; reports of student's work capability and library facilities. Some of these facilities include: number of library staff members, number of collection, currency, physical structure of the library, budget allocation and etcetera. Librarians are actively involved in the accreditation for the reason that the provision and use of library resources and services contribute to the quality of the student's educational experience. The way academic library support and manages its library collections reveals the priorities of the institution, the educational goals and methods of faculty and the performance of students and graduates. This view was further shared by Adegbesan (2011), who opined that the future of accreditation exercise is also of great attention, since the criteria that are formulated and applied may affect the proportion of the institutional resources that are available to libraries and the prospects for their performance.
The academic library is an integral part of a university, which exists to meet the information needs of students, staff, researchers and other users in the community. Onwudinjo (2015) posited that the main function of academic library is to serve as an auxiliary to its parent institution in carrying out its objectives. He also noted that the library is an important intellectual resource of an academic community, as it helps the university to fulfill the curriculum requirements and promote studies and research. Relevant books and other information materials are provided by stressing that academic library is a learning center for the students, as it function to providing materials that are needed for learning all courses. In a similar study, Abubakar (2011) also stressed the fact that library is a place of great interest to the undergraduates as it provides relevant, adequate and up to-date information materials that are needed for learning all potential courses that may be offered. This is why all academic library collections, are setup to meet the information and research needs of any academic program offered by the institution. That is, librarians put necessary efforts to involve the various departments by sending publisher's catalogue to each of them to see the list of available materials before embarking on annual acquisition.
Afolabi (2014) revealed that accreditation is awarded to higher education programs that meet the education requirement to set standards. It centers on a review of a program's content and delivery that includes area such as relevance, coherence, challenge, assessment, staffing, quality assurances and resources. Many institutions and department had failed accreditation by National University Commission (NUC) just because the libraries failed to meet the standard for information materials in those disciplines. It is important to assert that a university cannot exist and function properly without the presence of a library. This was the view of Afolabi (2014) in his study when he described a university and its library to be interdependent. This is because each is clearly indispensable of the other and this is the main reason why a university is established alongside with its library at all costs. This view was further shared by Edem, Ani, and Ocheibi (2008) as they expressed the idea that University libraries function as partners in supporting the university in teaching, learning and research, thus making them the "heart" of the universities.
Statement of the problem
Effective quality assurance depends on the availability of highly qualified faculty members and administrators. The success of accreditation, audits, and academic reviews is particularly demanding of human capacity since the success of the process is so dependent on the quality, dedication, and integrity of the people who serve as peer reviewers, and that of the administrators and faculty members who prepare the self-assessment and collect needed data at institutions being reviewed.
Despite concerted efforts, it is evident that Those efforts are hampered by: the difficulty to find a sufficient number of academics who are qualified and willing to serve as peer reviewers; the lack of appropriate training for those involved in the process in the accrediting agencies, at institutions, and as peer reviewers; and difficulties some institutions face in amassing the data needed for effective self-studies (Hayward, 2006). Also, issue of standard and quality assurance are still a mirage to most concerned Nigerians and the public. This observation, has in fact remained a bone of contention in the minds of people. Most universities are still facing additional challenges of recognition, quality and development of programmes offered in their institutions (C. N. Ozurumba, V. O. Ebuara, 2014)
To address these problems, there is need to evaluate accreditation of the programmes and making suggestions that will promote quality of output towards sustenance of the Universities programmes. It is against this backdrop that the researcher embarked on this study to investigate the role academic libraries play in the accreditation of undergraduate programs in the Federal University of Technology Minna.
Objective of the Study
The main objective of the study is to find out the role of academic libraries in the accreditation of undergraduate program.
The specific objectives of the study are to:
1. Identify undergraduate accreditation requirement for various departments compared with library holdings.
2. Identify university accreditation requirements compare with library holding.
3. Find out if current materials available in academic libraries for accreditation of undergraduate program are adequate.
4. Determine the relevance of the materials that are stock in the academic library in relation to accreditation requirement.
1. What are the undergraduate accreditation requirements for various departments as it relates to library resources?
2. What are the university accreditation requirements as regards library resources?
3. Are the current materials available in academic libraries for accreditation of undergraduate program adequate?
4. How relevant are the materials that are stocked in the academic library in relation to accreditation requirement?
The null hypothesis will be tested at 0.05 level of significance.
(1) There is no significant relationship between academic libraries and accreditation of undergraduate programs.
Significance of the study
This research intends to examine the role of academic libraries in accreditation of undergraduate programs in Federal University of Technology. The findings of this research will be of utmost significance to government, governing council of institutions, academic librarians, students and researchers.
It will help the government to understand the need to make available adequate fund for academic library in other to meet-up accreditation requirements and pave way for effective and efficient policies for improvement of academic libraries in general.
To librarians, the study will help them with required information by acquiring relevant resources in meeting accreditation demands.
To academic libraries, this study will serve as guide to implementing policies to enable them function effectively too.
Finally, this study will be an addition to the already existing literature in the field of library and information technology.
Scope of the study
This study centered on examining the role played by academic libraries in accreditation of undergraduate programs and is limited to Federal University of Technology Minna. Therefore, every research effort will be based on the library under study.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
As the number of universities continue to increase in Nigeria, it becomes increasingly important to tighten inspection and supervision of universities and their activities in order to maintain acceptable quality (National Universities' Commission, 2009). The numbers of Nigerian universities have grown geometrically since the establishment of the first university in 1948 in Ibadan, and so has the number of courses offered by these universities and the corresponding student population. According to Bello (2014), accreditation of programs offered by universities is key to ensuring standard across the institutions.
CONCEPT OF ACCREDITATION
The concept of accreditation can be closely related to that of quality assurance in education. This is evident in the definition of accreditation provided by Wikipedia. Accreditation as defined by Wikipedia is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of post-secondary educational institutions or programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met.
According to Nkiko and Yusuf (2007) Accreditation is a recognition process in which standards, policies and procedures are evaluated to ascertain the quality of a particular program by accrediting authorities, which are either government agencies or specialized or professional bodies. Over the years, various developments have been taking place relative to the monitoring, assessment and improvement of the quality of different components of higher education. It is against this that accreditation bodies operate to ensure that students receive an education continually with standards for entry into practice in their respective fields or disciplines. Accreditation process is an excellent opportunity for schools to look at their program and take note of progress made as well as gaps to be filled, thus acting as a veritable feedback mechanism. According to Akomolafe (2009) it is a conception based on self-regulation which attentions on evaluation and the continuing improvement of educational quality. In such case, accreditation is only granted if the requirements are met. Obadara and Abayomi (2013) defined Accreditation as a process of self-study and external quality review used in higher education to scrutinize an institution and/or its programs for quality standards and need for quality improvement. Similarly, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in Washington, US defines accreditation as a method of external appraisal by higher education to examine colleges, universities and educational programs for quality assurance and quality improvement. The process is planned to determine whether an institution has met or exceeded the published standards (set by an external body such as a government, national quality assurance agency, or a professional association) for accreditation, and whether it is achieving its mission and stated purpose. Accreditation process usually involves a self-assessment of the program by the institution, a site visits by peer reviewers, a report of that review, and a decision to accredit, deny accreditation, or put it on probation (or some other intermediary status). However, the extent to which each tertiary institution accepts and fulfils the responsibilities inherent in this process is a measure of its concern for freedom and quality in higher education and of its commitment to strive for and achieve excellence in its endeavors (Obadara and Abayomi, 2013). Accreditation is a way of establishing the status, legitimacy or appropriateness of an institution, program or module of study.
Accreditation principles and guidelines in Nigeria educational system is aimed at strengthening program for quality assurance and quality improvement. It is seen as a process that aids institutions in developing and sustaining effective educational programs and assures the educational community, the general public, and the world that the accredited institution has met high standards of quality and effectiveness. The primary focus of program accreditation is individual academic and professional programs. According to United States Department of Education (USDE), there are two basic types of educational accreditation, namely; "institutional" and specialized or programmatic accreditation. Institutional accreditation normally applies to an entire institution, signifying that each of an institution's parts is contributing to the achievement of the institution's objectives, although not necessarily all at the same level of quality. The accrediting Commission (NUC), for example, performs institutional accreditation, as other national accrediting agencies do, such as the Board (NBTE). In Nigeria, specialized accreditation is a voluntary process and institutions choose to apply for accredited status. If accredited, such an institution agrees to abide by the ethics and principles of their accrediting agency and to standardize itself by taking obligation for its own improvement.
Hayward (2006) perceived that,
"There is no uncertainty that the quality of higher institution of learning of a country determines the quality of human resources of a country. One of the major functions of the universities is to produce a competent, skilled and globally knowledgeable workforce for the labor market of business and industry, which is a critical factor to national growth and development."
Since no nation can develop beyond the quality of its higher education. Recent developments such as increasing student enrolments; reduced state funding for public higher education; increasing number of private providers; internationalization cross border education have also influenced the purpose and functions of higher education. The need for global competiveness is another recent development that has impacted higher intuitions of learning. In Nigeria, some of these recent developments are reflected in mission statement of the National Universities Commission (NUC), which is the regulatory body setup to oversee the administration and delivery of higher education in Nigeria: 'which is to guarantee the orderly improvement of a well-coordinated and productive university system that will ensure quality and relevant education for national development and global competitiveness (NUC, 2009).
ACCREDITATION AS TOOL FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE.
Quality assurance in the university system entails the ability of the institutions to meet the expectations of the users of manpower in relation to the quality of skills acquired by their outputs (Ajayi and Akindutire, 2007). Also, it could be regarded as the ability of the universities to meet certain benchmarks relating to academic matters, staff-student ratios, staff mix by rank, staff development, physical facilities, funding, and adequate library facilities. Adequacy of various inputs in the university system, in terms of quality and quantity, exercises tremendous influence on quality assurance in the university system. According to NUC, as cited by Obadara and Abayomi, (2013) quality assurance is a key constituent of successful internationalization; a mechanism for building institutional status in the competitive local and global arena and a necessary foundation for consumer protection. Quality assurance can be defined conventionally as fitness for purpose in the university education, as meeting the requirement with generally accepted standards as defined by quality assurance bodies and appropriate academic and professional communities. It is also viewed by UNESCO, (2006) as a intentional and systematic process undertaken by institution, organization, or program to decide if acceptable standards are being met, enhanced and maintained. It guarantees confidence in a program of study given by an institution that standards and quality are being maintained and enhanced. Kisailowska as cited by Obadara and Abayomi (2013), noted that quality assurance principles are a certain form of naming and ordering the actions that are necessary for assuring the quality, for instance of teaching, it is internally measured and evaluated at a given university, and also externally, during an accreditation process. As a result of this, quality assurance principles are to be used as indicators to ensure compliance. It is noteworthy that quality assurance principles regulate both the external and internal activities of an educational institution. Ajayi and Adegbesan (2007) posits that quality assurance is related to accountability both of which are concerned with maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of educational systems and services in relation to the contexts, of their missions and their stated objectives. Ajayi and Adegbesan (2007) avers that quality assurance focused on;
(i) Learners entry behaviors, characteristics and attributes including some demographic factors that can inhibit or facilitate their learning,
(ii) The teacher entry qualification, values pedagogic stalls, professional preparedness, subject background, philosophical orientation etc,
(iii) The teaching / learning processes including the structure of the curriculum and learning environment,
(iv) The outcomes, which are defined for different levels in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes including appropriate and relevant instruments to assess these objectives.
Adegbesan (2011) defined quality assurance as all the attitudes, objectives, actions and procedures that through their existence and use, and together with quality control activities, ensure that appropriate academic standards are being maintained and enhanced in and by each program.
The National Universities Commission NUC (2009) defined quality assurance as the systematic review of educational programs to ensure that acceptable standards of, education, scholarship and infrastructure are being maintained. As part of the efforts to ensure qualitative university education in Nigeria, the NUC was particular about ensuring accreditation of academic programs in Nigerian universities in order to produce graduates who are relevant to the Nigerian economy. Emphasis has been laid on the quality of academic staff and students to be admitted and employed respectively. The Commission is committed to improving the quality of university programs through injection of requisite inputs as well as assuring quality process and outputs based on the decree 49 of 1988 that widen its scope. The National Universities Commission is charged to embark on accreditation of quality assurance in Nigerian universities. Quality assurance can be either an external or an internal process. External quality assurance refers to the review by an external agency (e.g. a national quality assurance agency) or body (e.g. a professional body), which evaluates the operations of a university (institutional) or of its programs to ascertain the level of compliance with set minimum standards. External quality assurance is mainly carried out through the instrumentality of accreditation and involves, as indicated earlier, a self-study, peer review and a reporting system. Internal quality assurance, on the other hand, refers to the internal policies and mechanisms of a university or program for ensuring that it is fulfilling its purposes as well as the standards that apply to higher education in general or to the profession or discipline, in particular (IIEP, 2006). Indeed, most universities from inception design and implement various internal activities to ensure that certain agreed standards of performance are being met. Examples of such are the external examination system, self-assessment system, student-lecturer assessment etc.
Quality assurance is a set of activities or procedures that an organization undertakes to ensure that standards are specified and reached consistently for a product or service. Its goal is to create reliable systems by anticipating problems and designing procedures to avoid as many errors and faults as possible (Kisuniene, 2004). It is a systematic management and assessment procedure adopted by higher education institutions and system in order to monitor performance against objectives and to ensure achievement of quality outputs and quality improvements. Accreditation of universities be it institutional or program is a way of examining the state of the institution in relation to where it out to be. It is a quality assurance process. It is the primary means by which universities and programs assure quality to students and the public. Accredited status is a signal to students and the public that an institution or program meets at least minimal standards for its faculty, curriculum, student services and libraries. Accredited status is conveyed only if institutions and programs provide evidence of fiscal stability.
Accreditation is an evaluation of whether an institution or program meets a threshold standard and qualifies for a certain status.
Bello (2014) stated that accreditation could be viewed through the following definitions as they relate to quality assurance:
A process by which institutions or programs continuously update their educational quality and services through self-evaluation and the judgment of peers.
A status granted to an educational institution or program which meets commonly accepted standards of quality or excellence.
Kigongo-Bukenya (2005) opined that accreditation and certification create a complex quality assurance system known as credentialing. Credentialing refers to the process of self-regulation in which interests in the profession, business or other fields join with one another to exercise controls for the betterment of society at large. Credentialing focused on an institution or programs its accreditation, and that which focuses on individuals and seeks to license them as practitioners is called certification. Both accreditation and certification are essentially complementary, providing a quality control assurance for those entering the profession and continued competence through programs of professional development and certification.
The National Universities Commission(NUC), the singular and statutory body responsible for the accreditation of undergraduate programs in Nigerian universities stated that the most basic necessity for accreditation is to "Ensure that at least the provisions of the Minimum Academic Standards document are attained, maintained and enhanced". This is in tandem with the position of Nkiko and Yusuf (2007) who stated that; "There are specific reasons for engaging in accreditation. It is not just an exercise in intimidation and harassment of affected institutions; rather there are overt and latent objectives. Some of these are to: Stimulate and integrate the efforts of institutions to evaluate the standards of education, strengthen the capabilities of the educational institutions for service to their respective nations, identify educational institutions which meet or exceed stated criteria of academic quality, provide guidance to students and parents in the choice of institutions and programs, enables professional bodies to gauge their contributions to the growth and development of their professions, provide counsel and assistance to established and developing institutions and programs, encourage and assist institutions which have the potential and interest to improve them through continuing evaluation and self-survey, provide a basis for institutional relationships, particularly in the transfer of students, accredited status contributes to the marketability of a course and graduates. This process helps to expose and eliminate professional quacks, ensures that students acquire systematic and coherent body of knowledge as well as requisite practical exposure during the course of their training and forms the primary driver in curriculum development and management."
THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITIES COMMISSION (NUC) AS AN ACCREDITING BODY
The National Universities Commission (NUC) is empowered under section 10 of Decree No. 16 of 1985 and was incorporated as section 4(m) of the National Universities Commission (NUC) Amendment decree of No. 49 of 1988; the commission is empowered to laydown minimum standards for the universities in the Federation and to accredit their degrees and other academic awards after obtaining prior license for their establishment (National Universities Commission, 2012). The specific aspect of the decree which gives authority to NUC to conduct accreditation is summarized in the statement: "To lay down minimum standards for all Universities in the Federation and to accredit their degrees and other academic awards after obtaining prior approval therefore through the Minister from the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces; provided that the accreditation of degrees and other academic awards shall be in accordance with such guidelines as may be laid down and approved by the Commission from time to time." (National Universities Commission, 2012)
The Commission in order to comply with the provisions of the Decree, has been using experts from various universities in the country through their comments and recommendations prepared what they called the Minimum Academic Standards Report in respect of 13 disciplines currently being taught in Nigerian Universities. These are: Administration, Management and Management Technology; Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Home Economics; Arts; Dentistry; Education; Engineering and Technology; Environmental Sciences; Law, Medicine, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Physiology, and Anatomy; Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sciences; Social Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine.
The objectives of accreditation as enumerated by the National Universities Commission (NUC) include the following:
(a) Ensure that at least the provisions of the Minimum Academic Standards document are attained, maintained and enhanced;
(b) Assure employers and other members of the community that Nigerian graduates of all academic programs have attained an acceptable level of competency in their areas of specialization; and
(c) Certify to the international community that the programs offered in Nigerian Universities are of high standards and their graduates are adequate for employment and for further studies.
The accreditation exercise was formally confined to undergraduate programs in universities, but today it covers undergraduate, postgraduate and institutional accreditation.
According to NUC (2009) accreditation status laid down by the National University Commission (NUC) has outlined the below range of status for programs accessed and considered for accreditation.
Full Accreditation: which will be granted to any degree or other academic program that has satisfied the Minimum Academic Standards (MACS). Full Accreditation shall be granted for a period of six (6) academic sessions with a mid-term appraisal after three years. After the six academic sessions, there shall be a Re-accreditation visit.
Interim Accreditation: which will be granted to any degree or other academic program that has minor insufficiencies that must be rectified within a specified period. It shall be granted for a period of not more than two (2) academic sessions.
Denied Accreditation: this shall apply to any degree or other academic program, which has failed to satisfy the approved Minimum Academic Standards (MACS). Request for Re-visitation for the purpose of Accreditation shall come from the University concerned.
Among the various requests of the National University Commission (NUC) and different set of criteria, that a department must meet for the course to be accredited is the curriculum and general facility, which the library is at its core.
THE PLACE OF ACCREDITATION IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE.
Academic libraries according to Oseghale (2008) are libraries located in higher institutions of learning such as the Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education etc. Academic libraries are dependent on the academic institution of which they are part. Hence, they formulate their mission, vision, goals and objectives based on the mission, vision, goals and objectives of their parent institution. Osinulu and Amusa (2010) stated that academic libraries provide information sources and services that support the programs of their institutions. Odusanya and Osinulu as cited by Osinulu and Amusa (2010) states that, "academic libraries are charged with the responsibility of meeting the information needs of scholars and students in the pursuit of their academic endeavors." Academic libraries plan their activities in congruence with the plans of the academic circles. And they support the academic and research needs of the students and faculty members of the institution. Oseghale (2008) asserts that academic library collections are built to meet specific research and information needs of the institution's academic programs. He added that the curriculum serves as a frame upon which the library collection is built. This implies that the academic library is a pillar or bedrock to which any academic program must rely. Therefore, the library resources reflect the type of programs covered by the institution and so it facilitates effective teaching, learning, research, and community services of the parent institution. He asserts further that libraries mainly evaluate their collections for the reason of accreditation. That is to say that accreditation will not be granted to any program or institution that does not have adequate library resources and/or services to support the running of such program. The aid for teaching and learning is what a library stocks and as such its importance to the quality of an academic program is glaring. This to a large extent establish the role of academic library in the accreditation of a program. Carr (2007) posits that university libraries are obliged to respond to a multiplicity of academic needs and interest groups. This relates library to its primary philosophy of service and it equally emphasis the need for them (academic library) in a turbulent information society where the proliferation of literature and discipline is at its climax. Among the various needs that the university library must respond to is the support of accreditation for its parent universities and the courses that it runs (Bello, 2014). Bello (2014) clearly acknowledges the role that libraries play in helping an institution or program in getting accreditation. Conclusively, Oseghale (2008) posits that the library has the sole responsibilities of ensuring accreditation of a program by ensuring that their collection reflects the requirements for accreditation. ACICS added that not only library resources is necessary for accrediting a program but the quality of services, resources and the competence and adequacy of library staff is necessary for the successful running of every program in an academic environment and as such they will serve as the standards for accreditation. This proves that a library in its entirety and not only a subset of it supports the accreditation of programs in an institution.
Nkiro and Yusuf (2007) opined that although the accreditation support is not always stated in the service chatter of most university library, it remains one of the major roles the library has played over the years. As part of accreditation role of F.U.T Minna Library, and the role of every other university libraries, the NUC seeks to get the following information about the central libraries of universities under accreditation: Name of highest officer in-charge of the main library, designation, Salary Grade Level, useable floor area in [m.sup.2], student population served, sitting capacity, library opening and closing hours, lending policy (both for academic staff and students), list all books (which include journals and related facilities for), acquisition policy and professional Services Offered by the Library (they seek to know the Description of the services offered by the library including deliberate efforts made to ensure maximum use of the library by both staff and students). Also services rendered to new students to be able to use the library effectively and to enable them obtain materials from other libraries in the environment and within Nigeria. (National universities Commission, 2009)
Similarly, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (2016) when reviewing their accreditation criteria establish standards as regards to the role of library in the accreditation of higher institutions in the United States of America. They stated that adequate provision of library resources and information services, appropriate to the academic level and scope of an institution's programs, is essential to teaching and learning. They further emphasized that academic libraries should be seen as an integral part of every high institution and as such they should provide adequate library resources needed in relation to their programs and provide a range of support to meet the needs of the various disciplines. They explained further that size of collections and the budget allowed for library resources and services do not ensure adequacy but the quality, availability, accessibility, and provision of support services that decide the adequacy of an institution's efforts. In evaluating library information resources and services, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools requires that an institution, at a minimum, shall:
* Develop a sufficient base of library resources;
* Guarantee means of accessing these resources;
* Formulate a continuous strategy for assessing library information resources and information services;
* To make available adequate staff to support library development, accessibility, and collection organization;
* To guarantee library services are provided to all learners
* Provide training and orientation to students and faculty member on utilization of library resources, which is an integral part of the learning process.
According to Afolabi (2014), the library remains the nerve center of the activities of every academic environment especially the university. The role that is played and meant to be played by the university library makes it to stand out as reference point for accreditation at all times. This largely vindicates the role of academic libraries in providing not only resources but also services and competent personnel that will aid the smooth running of an academic program.
The academic library is truly a center of academic activities, which offers very critical services and plays a very important role in the accreditation process. The National universities commission has a statutory mandate for the accreditation of Undergraduate programs in universities across the country be it federal, state or private university. The NUC clearly states out the expectations from the universities libraries in terms of human resources and tools including procedures if they must meet accreditation needs of their institutions and the various departments particularly.
The research design for this study was census design. It is considered appropriate to gather relevant data on the role of university library in the accreditation of undergraduate programs in particularly Federal University of Technology, Minna. It allows the researcher to focus data gathering on the identified case study and carryout in depth study of the total population (Lohr, 2009).
The population of this study covers all the academic library staff of Federal University of Technology, Minna. There is a total ninety-seven (97) staff. This include professionals, para-professional and the non-professional. The break down is shown on the table below.
Table 3.1: Population Distribution Table CATEGORY Numbers of staff Professionals 28 Para-professionals 19 Non-professionals 50 Total 97
Sample and Sampling Technique
The population for this research study covers all library staff of Federal University of Technology Minna, which is ninety-seven (97). The research adopted the use of total enumeration. This is because the population of the studied institution is not much.
Instrument for data collection
The instrument used during the course of this research was questionnaires. The questionnaire was selected because it provides high anonymity for the studied population and enhance a very sincere respond for academic research. It was design into two (2) section. Section A asked personal (Demographic) data such as: category of staff, gender, unit and working experience. Section B asked structured research question to find out the role of academic libraries in accreditation of undergraduate programs.
Validation of Instrument
Validity refers to the degree at which the research findings are genuine and sound. It decides the strength of the conclusion. Reliability, on the other hand, refers to the degree to which results are repeatable. For the validity of the research instrument, the draft of the questionnaire was pilot tested on a smaller population. The validity was done to promote easy understanding of the various items of the questionnaire. Thereafter, the corrected version of the instrument was distributed to the respondents after an analyst has verified the scales used.
Methods of Data Collection
The primary data for this study was gathered through questionnaire which formed the main research instrument. The questionnaire was administered to the respondents personally by the researcher.
Methods of Data Analysis
All data collected were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics and the data was presented in frequency, Tables and percentages. The hypotheses were analyzed using T-test method.
Demographic Data analysis
The demographic variable that was considered for this study is gender, category of staff and working experience.
Table (i): Respondents gender distribution Gender Frequency Percentage (%) Male 38 58 Female 27 42 Total 65 100
Table (i) reveals that majority 38(58%) of the staff respondents are male while 27(42%) are female. This means that the numbers of male are more represented.
Table (ii): Respondent category distribution Staff category Frequency Percentage (%) Professional 19 29 Para-professional 18 28 Non-professional 28 43 Total 65 100
Table (ii) shows that 18(28%) of the respondents are Para-professional, 19(29%) of the respondents are Professional staff and 28 (43%) of the respondents are Non-professional staff. Showing that the library has higher numbers of Non-professional staff.
Table (iii): Respondents working experience distribution. Years Frequency Percentage % 0-5 14 22 6-10 19 29 11-15 12 18 16-20 11 17 21 and above 9 14 Total 65 100
The analysis in Table (iii) shows that 14 (22%) of the respondents has 0-5years working experience, 19 (29%) of the respondents has 6-10years working experience, 12 (18%) of the respondents also worked between 11-15 years, 11 (17%) of the respondents have working experience of between 16-20 years and 9 (14%) of the respondents has working experience of between 21 years and above.
Response Rate Data Analysis
Table (i): Response rate of distributed questionnaire. Library Numbers of Distributed Questionnaire Percentage Question. Returned (%) FUT Minna 80 65 81 Library
The above Table (iv) shows that eighty (80) copies of questionnaire was distributed for the research to the studied population of which sixty-five (65) which form eighty-one percent (81%) were dully filled and returned. Therefore, all analysis shall be based on the sixty-five (65) respondents.
Data analysis based on the research questions.
Research question 1: What are the undergraduate accreditation requirements for various departments as it relate to library resources?
Table 1: Supporting accreditation Options Frequency Percentage (%) Yes 57 88 No 8 12 Total 65 100.0
Table 1 above is the response gotten from seeking to know whether the library staff are aware of library supporting accreditation of undergraduate programs. Majority 57(88%) of the respondents selected Yes and 8 (12%) selected No.
Table 2: Target resources Options Frequency Percentage (%) Yes 48 74 No 17 26 Total 65 100
Table 2 reveals that 48(74%) of the respondent indicated that the library is given a target number of resources to meetup with before accreditation while 17 (26%) of the respondents indicated No to been given target number of information resources.
Table 3: Required resources Options Frequency Percentage (%) Yes 13 20 No 53 80 Total 65 100.0
Table 3 shows that 13(20%) of the respondents real indicated Yes that the library has a requirement to meet set by itself while 53(80%) of the population studied indicated that the library has No requirement set by itself for accreditation.
Table 4: Kinds of information resources necessary for accreditation Kinds Frequency Percentage (%) Books 13 20 Serials and Journal -- -- Electronic resources -- -- Books, serials andjournals 14 22 All of the above 38 58 Total 65 100
On the kinds of information resources necessary for accreditation table 4 shows that, 13(20%) of the respondents indicated books, 14(22%) of the respondents indicates just books and serials and journals while, 38(58%) of the studied population indicated all of the above.
Research question 2: What are the university accreditation requirements as regards library resources?
Table 5: Volumes of information resources libraries stock for accreditation. Options Frequency Percentage (%) 0-2000 14 22 2000-4000 17 26 4000-6000 10 15 6000 and above 24 37 Total 65 100.0
Table 5 shows that 14(22%) of the respondent indicating 0-2000 volumes of books as requirement for accreditation, 17(26%) of the respondents are of the opinion that 2000-4000 volumes of information resources are required for accreditation, 10(15%) of the population studied indicated that 4000-6000 volumes while, 24 (37%) of the respondent indicated 6000 and above as requirement for accreditation resources libraries should stock for accreditation.
Tables 6: University library meeting accreditation. Options Frequency Percentage (%) Yes 65 100 No -- -- Total 65 100
Table 6 shows that 65(100) of the respondents selected Yes to library meeting accreditation requirement from time to time. Which means library as always played its own part in meeting accreditation requirement.
Table 7: Library factors consider for university accreditation. Factor Frequency Percentage (%) Space 13 20 Size of collection 9 14 Sources of fund -- -- Space and Size of library 19 29 All of the above 24 37 Total 65 100
Table 7 analysis of factors to consider for accreditation which shows that 13 (20%) of the respondent indicating space, 9(14%) of the respondents indicated size of library, 19(29%) of the respondents indicated space and size of library while 24(24%) of the respondents selected all of the above.
Table 8: Challenges hindering libraries from providing necessary accreditation requirements. Challenges Frequency Percentage (%) Inadequate funding 39 60 Inadequate skilled personnel -- -- Erratic power supply 7 11 Inadequate funding and Erratic power supply 13 20 All of the above 6 9 Total 65 100
Table 8 analysis shows the challenges hindering libraries from providing necessary accreditation requirements which indicate that 39 (60%) of the population studied selecting inadequate funding, 7(11%) selecting erratic power supply, 13(20%) selecting inadequate funding and erratic power supply while 6 (9%) selected all of the above.
Research question 3: Are the current materials available in academic libraries for accreditation of undergraduate programs adequate?
Table 9: Adequacy of materials Options Frequency Percentage (%) Yes 62 95 No 3 5 Total 65 100
Analysis of Table 9 show that 62(95%) of respondent indicated Yes that the information materials available in the library are current and up-to-date while, 3(5%) of the population selected No.
Table 10: Currency range. Currency by year Frequency Percentage (%) One year 19 29 Two years 24 37 Three years 22 34 Four and above -- -- Total 65 100
Analysis on Table 10 shows that 19 (29%) of the respondents indicated one year, 24(37%) of the respondent indicated two years, 22 (34%) of the respondent selected three years as currency range of information material for accreditation.
Table 11: Adequacy of information materials. Options Frequency Percentage (%) Very high 14 22 High 49 75 Low 2 3 Very low -- -- Total 65 100
Table 11 show how adequate current information materials in the library are of which 14 (22%) of the respondents selected very high, 49(75%) of the respondents selected high while 2(3%) of the respondents selected low.
Table 12: currency necessary for accreditation Options Frequency Percent Yes 56 86 No 9 14 Total 65 100.0
Table 12 shows that 56(86%) of the respondent are of the opinion that currency of information materials is necessary for accreditation while 9(14%) selected No meaning they are of the opinion that it is not necessary for accreditation.
Research question 4: How relevant are the materials that are stock in the academic library to accreditation requirements?
Table 13: Relevance of materials Options Frequency Percent Very relevant 35 54 Relevant 26 40 Irrelevant 4 6 Very irrelevant -- -- Total 65 100
Table 13 show how relevant the available information resources stocked in the library indicating that 35(54%) of the population studied are of the opinion that they are very relevant, 26(40%) of the respondent indicated that the materials are relevant while 4(6%) of the respondent indicated that the materials are irrelevant.
Table 14: Relevance as essential requirement. Options Frequency Percentage (%) Yes 61 94 No 4 6 Total 65 100.0
Analysis on Table 14 shows that 61(94%) of the respondent indicated that relevance of information material is essential requirement for accreditation while 4(6%) of the respondent are of the opinion that it is not an essential requirement for accreditation.
Table 15: Duty of relevance Options Frequency Percentage (%) Library staff 20 31 Academic planning unit -- -- Departmental representative 4 6 Library staff and departmental representatives. 24 37 All of the above 17 26 Total 65 100
Table 15 show that 20 (31%) of the respondents indicated that library staff are responsible for ensuring relevance of information resources, 4 (6%) of the respondent are of the opinion that departmental representatives are responsible for ensuring relevance of information resources, 24(37%) of the respondents indicated that library staff and departmental representative are responsible for ensuring relevance of information resources while, 17 (26%) of the respondents selected all of the above.
Table 16: Coverage of the available information resource. Options Frequency Percentage (%) Excellent 17 26 Good 46 71 Average 2 3 Poor -- -- Total 65 100
Analysis on Table 16 show coverage of information materials stock by library for accreditation which indicate that 17(26%) of the respondent selected excellent, 46(71%) of the respondent are of the opinion that coverage of available information materials stock are good while, 2(2%) of the respondent are of the opinion that the coverage of information materials is average.
Analysis based on tested hypothesis.
Test of independence academic libraries and accreditation of undergraduate programs Ho: There is no significant relationship between Academic Libraries and Accreditation of undergraduate programs
Table 17: The t-test relationship between Academic Libraries and Accreditation of undergraduate programs. Academic Libraries Accreditation Mean 2.3375 1.845 Variance 1.086425 0.883567 Observations 4 4 Pooled Variance 0.984996 Hypothesized Mean Difference 0 Df 6 t Stat 0.701785 P(T<=t) one-tail 0.254553 t Critical one-tail 1.94318 P(T<=t) two-tail 0.509106 t Critical two-tail 2.446912
Table 17 shows that there is a significant relationship between Academic Libraries and Accreditation of undergraduate programs. Because, at an alpha level of 0.05, the t Stat value which is 0.701785 is < (less than) the t Critical one-tail value which is 1.94318 and also, the Probability P(T<=t) two-tail value 0.509106 is greater than 0.05 significant. Thus, the independent null hypothesis is thereby rejected.
Discussion of findings based on research questions.
Research question 1: what are the undergraduate accreditation requirement for various departments as it relates to library resources?
Table one shows that the academic librarians are aware of the library role in supporting accreditation with the frequency of 57(88%), Table two shows that the library is given a target volume of resources to meetup with before accreditation with the frequency of 48(74), Table three shows that the library has no requirement set by itself for accreditation with frequency of 53(80%), Table four reveals the kind of information resources necessary for accreditation which are: books, electronic resources, serials and journals with frequency of 38(58%).
The library is responsible for acquiring information resources in various formats in other to meetup with accreditation requirement, this is further supported by the fact that, staff are aware of the role library play in supporting accreditation. However, the findings is in line with ACICS (2016) who observed that quality assurance does not only involve evaluation of institutional management facilities but covers library resources (which include books and non-book materials). This view was further supported by Nkiro and Yusuf (2007) who noted that academic libraries serve as major gateway to accreditation. This is so because it is responsible for providing all necessary information resources needed for accreditation.
Research question 2: What are the university accreditation requirements as regards library resources?
Table five reveals that 6000 and above is the range of required volume of information resources necessary for accreditation with the frequency of 24(37%), Table six confirms that the university library meet accreditation requirement from time to time with the frequency of 65(100%), Table seven highlighted space, size of collection and source of funds as factors considered for accreditation from the library angle with the frequency of 24(37%), Table eight identified inadequate funding among others to be the greatest challenge hindering the library from carrying out it accreditation functions effectively with the frequency of 39(60).
The volume of information needed for accreditation has been found to be 6,000 and above, however in achieving this target the library is faced with many with numerous challenges with inadequate funding being the most alarming. Also the findings from research question 2 reveals that space, size of collection and source of funds are the basic factors to be consider during University accreditation. This conclusion was drawn from Nkiro and Yusuf (2007) who emphasized that the volume of collection and fund given to them to allow acquisition of library resources goes a long way in improving it quality evaluation (accreditation) process. The findings is also in agreement with Afolabi (2014) posited that academic library is seen as a reference point for accreditation at all times but are faced with many issues that affect the way service are provided on a regular basic.
Research question 3: Are the current materials available in academic library for accreditation of undergraduate programs adequate?
Table nine reveals that the information resources are adequate with the frequency of 62(95%), Table ten shows that a period of two years is the currency range of information resources for accreditation with the frequency of 24(37%), Table eleven shows that the level adequacy is high with the frequency of 49(75%), Table twelve reveals respondent's opinion on the necessity for currency of information materials which has been found to be positive with the frequency of 56(86%).
Knowing that available information resources are current and adequate, we can tie this to the fact that currency range of information has been found to be two years this is in line with ACICS (2016) who stated that adequacy of library information resources and information services, appropriate to the academic level and scope of an institution's programs, is essential for accreditation. And also the study of Oseghale (2008) reveal that the currency of information resources is among others factors considered when academic library embarks on collection building for accreditation purpose.
Research question 4: How relevant are the materials that are stock in the academic library to accreditation requirements?
Table thirteen reveals that information resources are very relevant with the frequency of 35(54%), Table fourteen shows that the relevance of information resources is an essential requirement for accreditation with the frequency of 61(94%), Table fifteen explained that library staff and departmental representatives are responsible in ensuring relevance of information resources with the frequency of 24(37%), Table sixteen reveals that the available information resources covers all curriculum with the frequency of 46(71%).
The information resources in the library has been found to be relevant to user's curriculum, this is in addition to the wide and pervasive coverage it has on the curriculum of users. This in agreement with the study of Bello (2014) who maintained that the role of university libraries is indispensable in the recognition of the set objective of the parent institution by supporting the university programs through operative planning, acquisition of current and relevant information materials and making them readily available as required by the university community.
Discussion of findings based on the tested hypothesis.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between Academic Libraries and Accreditation of undergraduate programs.
Table seventeen reveals the T-test table showing the relationship between Academic Libraries and Accreditation of undergraduate programs. A statistically significant relationship was found from the result between Academic Libraries and Accreditation of undergraduate programs in Federal University of Technology, Minna. (P(T<=t)= 0.509106, P<0.05). Since there is a significant relationship between Academic Libraries and Accreditation of undergraduate programs, it implies that Academic Libraries has positive impact on Accreditation of undergraduate programs. For this reason, the hypothesis was rejected, which means that there is a significant relationship between Academic Libraries and Accreditation of undergraduate programs. The significant positive relationship revealed by hypothesis is in line with the questionnaire statement that there are library roles in supporting the accreditation of undergraduate programs and that there are requirements the academic library must meet before accreditation. This is in line with Bello (2014), who opined that academic library played an inspiring role in the accreditation process of any undergraduate program as they guarantee provision of up-to-date information resources needed for learning and teaching with assurance of easy access and also in agreement with Nkiro and Yusuf (2007) who posited that accreditation will suffer if the academic library is not well stocked.
Accreditation of undergraduate programs do not only fall on staff development, funding, physical facilities, etc. but also on adequacy of library facilities and services this is in line with the National University commission (NUC) plan which encourages bringing of library services closer to each student and staff. Therefore, university libraries are considered as one of the fundamental factor required for accreditation of any academic program in every university in Nigeria. This is why university libraries services a major gateway to accreditation of undergraduate programs in every university.
Based on the research findings, the following recommendation were made:
1. The study recommended that sufficient financial support should be given to academic libraries to enable them function effective.
2. The study recommended that alternative power supply should be provided for library to have a stable power supply.
3. The study also recommended that enough skilled persons with background knowledge in librarianship should be put in charge of the library.
4. It also recommended that academic libraries should also invest in acquisition of electronic resources, as the world is going digital.
Abubabakar, B. M. (2011). The library as the academic life wire of the university, Library Philosophy and Practice, (January).
ACICS (2016). Accreditation criteria: Policies, Procedures and Standards. (Retrieved from http://www.acics.org/pdf/2016_acics_accreditation _criteria.pdf on 24/07/2016)
Adegbesan, S. O (2011). Establishing quality assurance in Nigerian education system: Implication for educational managers. Educational Research and Reviews. 6(2), pp. 147-151.
Afolabi, M. O. (2014). "The library, the academic life wire of a university system" a university wide public lecture delivered on Wednesday, 4th June, 2014 at the university main auditorium, Federal University Oye-Ekiti.
Ajayi, I. A. and Akindutire, I. O. (2007). The unresolved issues of quality assurance in Nigerian universities. Journal of Sociology and Education in Africa, 6(1), 1-16.
Akomolafe, C.O. (2009). The Practice and Prospects of Accreditation of Academic Programs in Universities in Nigeria: The Perspective of Academic Staff. International Journal of Education administration, 1 (1), pp. 59-68.
Bello, M. A. (2014). Accreditation and the role of academic library in undergraduate programs : a case study of fountain university, Osogbo. Journal of humanities and social science. 19(10). Pp 45-49.
C. N. Ozurumba, V. O. Ebuara. (2014). Relevance of Programmes Accreditation in Nigeria Universities for Quality Assurance for Quality Assurance. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Arts and Sciences, Vol. 1, No. 4 pp, 5.
Carr, D. A. (2007). Academic library practices in 21st century: The perspective of professional librarian. Journal of Education and Practice. 16 (8). Pp 141-147.
Hayward, F. M. (2006). Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Higher Education in Africa. Conference on Higher Education Reform in Francophone Africa: Understanding the Keys of Success, (p. 61p). Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Kigongo-Bukenya, I. M. N. (2005). Global library and information concerns: The case of international accreditation qualifications. (Retrieved from http://www.ifla,org/ifla71/promise.htm on 14/05/2016).
Lohr, S. L. (2009). Sampling: Design and Analysis. Duxburing Press. National Universities Commission (2009). Weekly Bulletin, 4(46), November 9.
Nkiko, C. & Yusuf F. O. (2007). Accreditation issues for library and information science schools. Journal of applied information science and technology. 1(1). Pp 70-82
Obadara, O. E. and Abayomi, A. A. (2013).Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Nigerian Universities. Journal of Education and Practice, 4(8), pp. 26-32.
Okojie, J A, (2008). Licensing, accreditation and quality assurance in Nigerian universities: Achievements and challenges. CHEA Summer Workshop retrieved from http://www.chea.org/pdf/2008_SW_Julius_Okojie_paper.pdf on 14/06/2016.
Okebukola, P (2006) Okebukola counts blessing of varsity system. Vanguard, Thursday, Jan. 26.
Onwudinjo, O. T. (2015). "Law Journal Collections: Accreditation Issues and Imperatives for Law Library Philosophy and Practice, 7(5), pp. 148-152.
Oseghale, O. (2008). Faculty Opinion as Collection Evaluation Method: a case study of Redeemer's University Library, Library Philosophy and Practice, December, 1-8.
United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization (2006). Assessing quality in higher education. A paper presentation for the first International Conference, University of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.
ALIYU, ISRAEL ABUBAKAR
LIBRARY AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT
FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
MINNA NIGER STATE
JOSEPH, MANASSEH MEN
LIBRARY AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT
FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
MINNA NIGER STATE
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Author:||Men, Joseph Manasseh; Isreal, Aliyu Abubakar|
|Publication:||Library Philosophy and Practice|
|Article Type:||Case study|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2017|
|Previous Article:||Psychological factors and the use of e-library resource among undergraduates in South-West Nigeria.|
|Next Article:||Internal displaced persons and their information needs.|