The Ahmadu Bello University Distance Learning Centre was primarily established to improve access to degree programmes offered by Ahmadu Bello University. Our attention was brought to the statement of a possible student posted on the Nairaland platform on Thursday, September 13, 2018 and below are our responses to the issues raised.
Course and Fee Structures
We operate a pay-per-course structure with no huge upfront cost, making the MBA programme more accessible. Foundation courses (prerequisite courses) to be taken by MBA Special students cost ₦10,000 each while core/elective courses cost ₦20,000 each. The cost of the foundation courses was reviewed upwards in August 2018 to ₦20,000 and that new fee only applies to the 2017/2018 MBA Batch B students.
Since the programme operates a pay-per-course structure, you can only have access to courses paid for. Due to the flexible nature of our programme, it became imperative to put certain structures in place to curb abuse such as late course registration or, in some cases, no course registration, all of which disrupt the academic calendar and allocation of e-tutors. There is a deadline for course registration, and failure to do so within the stipulated time attracts a penalty of ₦10,000. Only students who did not register courses within the allocated course registration period and wish to register courses in the late registration window are required to pay the penalty.
The course structure, as well as fee structure for 2016/2017 Batch A (the first batch of students) is different from subsequent batches. The first batch of applicants paid a bulk sum which could either be paid in full or paid in 2 instalments. The course structure for the first batch for graduates of business administration was 4 semesters (MBA Regular students), while it was 6 semesters for non-graduates of business administration (MBA Special students).
These batches (2016/2017 Batch B, 2017/2018 Batch A and 2017/2018 Batch B) have the same course structure which is 4 semesters for MBA Regular and 5 semesters for MBA special. Students should refer to the course structure given at the point of screening as no additional courses have been added. It is also important to note that Projects 1&2, seminar and internship have always been on the course structure.
The transcript fee is an optional fee for students who wish to process their transcript. It is clearly indicated on the portal as an optional fee and thus no one was mandated to pay for it except they want to process their transcript.
All Postgraduate programmes, the MBA inclusive are covered under the National Universities Commission BMAS for compliance by institutions. Ahmadu Bello University did not nor do we have the powers to split any course. The ABU Distance Learning Centre is part of a public university and we are duty bound to comply with regulations of the NUC.
Non-engagement of tutors.
Tutors/lecturers participation in facilitation is largely a function of their personalities. As with on campus programmes, some lecturers are liberal while some are strict, some are friendly while some are not, some are compliant with all regulations while some are not. The bulk of our tutors are derived from the relevant departments in the university and the diversity in their online response is to be expected.
You may recall that due to reports by students as well as online questionnaire outcomes, we have so far disengaged 26 tutors from the programme. This is an ongoing activity to ensure that tutors unable to cope with the requirements of online facilitation are disengaged from the system. As such, we encourage students to provide constant feedback via the relevant and approved channels so necessary action ca be taken.
On the issue of plagiarism, our online programmes are individually accredited by the NUC and as such, all content passes through the regulatory body for approval before the accreditation is granted. The use of existing information where the source has been acknowledged and possibly even registered as an open educational resource is not only permissible but encouraged. Institutions are required to acknowledge where such is the case. The use of Open Education Resources is thus not offensive or in any way a compromise of an institution’s integrity.
In Nigeria, the National Open University has licensed all its Courseware as Open Education Resources, any institution or individual that finds it useful is permitted to adapt, improve or reuse such material. This is the current trend in education –there is no point expending energy to reinvent the wheel!
In conclusion, we remain committed to our mission of improving the access to degree programmes and providing quality and timely support in the process. We encourage current and prospective students to continue to take advantage of our support team by reaching out to us via email firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone 07030215847, 08080523171, 017000911, 017000890 or WhatsApp 09087091959.