Success in life should not be determined by our alma mater.
I believe that everybody has a chance to be successful whether they went to a university or polytechnic. Our success is in our hands. This write-up is not meant to degrade HND holders. I am one of those that are strongly against the discrimination against HND holders. However, the reality on ground (due to the discrimination) is that BSc is still more superior to HND and I have given reasons below to state the obvious but bitter truth.
1 Entrance Qualification – The entrance qualification to the university is more stringent than that to the polytechnic. The UTME cut off for universities is higher than that of polytechnics. All universities require a minimum of 5 credits in WASSCE/NECO while most polytechnics accept 4 credits as minimum requirement. It is well accepted that the entrance qualification to any institution says a lot about the prestige attached to such institution.
2 Quality of Lecturers– You cannot compare the quality of lecturers in the university to that of the polytechnic. Most university lecturers are professors and PhD holders with decades of teaching and research experience to show for it. Some of them are universally renowned professors. The head of universities are always renowned and experienced academic professors. Most Master degree holders in universities are mere assistant lecturers. The same cannot be said of polytechnics where most of their ‘experienced’ lecturers are mere BSc holders. Most rectors of polytechnics are Msc holders, only a few have PhD. Even corps members lecture polytechnic students. Has it ever occurred to you why polytechnics find it hard to employ even their own products (HND holders) to lecture? Instead, they employ mostly university grads to teach.
3 Research Work– University is the bedrock of research work. Research work lays the foundation of advancement and any sane society will rate any higher institution by the quality of their research. Unfortunately, the quality of research work in Nigerian universities is poor but this is still far better than that of polytechnics that do absolutely nothing (or very negligible research work).
4 Funding– Universities are much more funded than polytechnics. One of the metrics for determining the quality of an institution is the level of funding. No wonder, the government and the media pay more attention to the demand of ASUU over ASUP. Thus, you will expect a product of a university to be better trained than that of a polytechnic.
5 Quality of students – The brightest, youngest and most motivated students go to the universities. Go to a polytechnic and what you will see a lot of dejected, not-so-young students who have written UTME many times but have not succeeded. A few in the polytechnics are young and bright, but they are few and far between. The majority of young and bright students, just fresh from secondary school are found within the 4 walls of the university. Thus, most university grads are of higher intellectual quality than their poly counterparts.
6 Size and Beauty of Campus – A lot can be said about the quality of an institution by the architectural structures of the institutions. Let’s take the elite universities and polytechnics in Nigeria for instance. One cannot compare the architectural edifices in the prestigious OAU, UI, ABU, UNN, UNILAG, UNIBEN to that of Yabatech, Kadpoly, Auchi, Bida Poly or any polytechnic in Nigeria. No polytechnic in Nigeria can even compete with some 2nd and 3rd generation universities like FUT Minna, UniJos, FUTA, etc in terms of structures.
7 Preference / Demand – The preference for BSc is higher than for OND/HND. All or almost all aspiring students wish to go to the university. Employers generally prefer BSc holders over HND holders. HND holders are seen as middle level manpower (That was the intent when polytechnics were initially created). There are more opportunities for BSc holders not just within the country but outside Nigeria. Jobs and scholarship opportunities abound for BSc holders and undergraduates while it is almost non-existent for HND holders.
8 Self Esteem – Last but not the least, an average BSc holder is more confident than an average HND holder. This is however not the fault of HND holders who unfortunately have to face stiff discrimination in the labour market, thus negatively impacting on their self esteem.