Inequitable access to the knowledge market in Nigeria: The case of university education

Samuel Akinyemi, Onoride Collins Potokri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a knowledge market, the knowledge, skills and expertise needed for the economic and sociopolitical transformation of a nation and its citizens are transacted at different prices. Inequitable access to this market poses a serious threat to the economic welfare of the country and its citizens. The authors assess the extent of this threat with reference to university education in Nigeria and its implications for national development. Questionnaires were used to obtain data and, since this is a quantitative research study, the factors serving as the basis for analysis are as follows: the official minimum wage, poverty rates and the prices (fees) charged at the sampled universities. The findings reveal that more than 70% of the total population live on between US$3.70 and US$7.39 per day. In addition, the lowest fees charged at the public and private universities are Nigeria Naira N75,000 (US$477.71) and N400,000 (US$2547.77), respectively. Thus, there is not only a substantial difference in the prices charged, but university fees are also beyond the means of the majority of Nigerians. Identifying these university fees as the main cause of inequitable access to the knowledge market, the authors propose that the prices should be reduced to accommodate the impoverished majority and argue that the government should facilitate access to university education through student loans and public funding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-432
Number of pages9
JournalIndustry and Higher Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • inequitable access
  • knowledge market
  • national development
  • Nigeria
  • university fees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Education


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