The essential role a good higher education plays in transforming and sharpening the minds of the citizenry of a nation is indisputable, and so is its effectiveness in transforming the nation in all other important dimensions – economically, socially and politically. This observation is particularly most relevant to developing nations in Africa were education and accumulation of useful human capital are the means to transformative changes with sustained and lasting beneficial impact. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, as in most African countries, evidence on how well our domestic institutions of higher learning have fared in equipping our graduates with practical knowledge with liberating effects is open to discourse. The importance of an effective system of higher education is never in doubt; it is the national will and the means to achieve and maintain it is what separates developed countries from the underdeveloped ones.

The urgency of the need to dispassionately evaluate the current state of Nigeria’s higher educational institutions in terms of effectiveness in delivering their stated objectives, and how useful those objectives are in preparing graduates for a 21st economy cannot be overstated. Hence the timeliness of this conference, which provides, amongst other resources, a platform for students, academics, administrators, researchers and policy makers to present ideas and experiences while establishing partnerships that engender sustainable development of Nigeria’s educational sector.

Specifically, the conference shall address some of the core areas of competence a fully functional institution of higher learning should routinely consider as constituent parts of its edifying activities, such as:

  1. The role of liberating subjects as foundations for specialized disciplines.
  2. The fundamental goal of facilitating development of human capital necessary for personal and professional development of students.
  3. The unique role higher education plays in a country’s social and economic development.
  4. Recognition of beneficial externalities a good education confers on society at large, and how new technologies help drive and disseminate such benefits.

At the conclusion of this conference, participants should emerge equipped with a robust capacity to evaluate our institutions of higher learning on these grounds:

  1. The ability to deliver their stated objectives.
  2. Their effectiveness in creating useful knowledge and preparing students for civic and professional endeavors.
  3. Awareness of the critical importance of an effective system of higher education in sustaining Nigeria’s economic development, and how Nigerian universities and other institutions of higher learning have fared so far.


Dakota Wesleyan University was established in 1885 in Mitchell, South Dakota, USA. As an inclusive educational community, it offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of fields and specialties. Its beautiful campus provides a safe and welcoming environment that readily affords transformative learning experience that cultivates enduring intellectual growth, personal and professional development.

With tens of millions of dollars spent on new infrastructure development, the university is steadily enhancing its capacity, and its international footprint. The university has established offices in Abuja and Nairobi, Kenya, and plans to initiate collaborative and partnership agreements with institutions of higher learning in Nigeria, and other African countries.

The Center for the Studies of Leadership is one of the centers of excellence in the academic branch of the Nigerian Defence Academy. The Academic Branch of the Academy performs the basic functions of a conventional university.  It conducts its 4-year bachelor’s degree and postgraduate (PG) programs in accordance with the highest standard set by the National Universities Commission.  The academic content of cadets training is geared towards producing well rounded officers with requisite intellectual, leadership and academic ability.  The training is also designed to meet the demands of modern military imperatives such as modern warfare and challenges of leadership/management in a contemporary world.  On the other hand, the post-graduate programs are open to both military officers and civilians and geared towards producing high level human capital development required to positively impact Nigerian socio-economic and political development.