The National Universities Commission (NUC) has clarified that it has not scrapped mass communication as a course in the universities, but only divided it into seven courses to enhance specialisation.
The NUC said the programme had been divided into cinematography, media studies, public relations studies, advertising, broadcasting, film and multi-media studies, development communication studies, information and media studies.
The spokesman for the body, Ibrahim Yakassai, said in a phone interview with The Punch on Friday that universities had the liberty to commence the new programmes after securing NUC approval.
“We have unbundled mass communication, but we did not scrap it. Any institution that wishes to retain it could, and those that wish to break it into different programmes can; there is no confusion.
“Any university that meets the criteria would just start. It is the university that would meet the requirements in terms of lecturers, laboratory; it is left for them to start when they are ready.”
According to Yakassai, universities have to meet certain requirements before they can obtain approval to commence the new programmes, stressing that the approval is not automatic.
The approval, he said, is contingent on resource verification, adding that the NUC expected many institutions to offer the new courses.
He described the initiative as an opportunity for schools to have more degree programmes.
“They don’t have to start at the same time. Some may not even do it; if they are comfortable with mass communication, they are allowed.”
He argued that the new programmes would offer opportunities for specialisation right from the undergraduate level.