Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name



Political Science


This study seeks to establish a basic theory that explains the policies and practices of civilian and military regimes on higher education in Nigeria. Specifically, the study seeks to determine whether or not the Nigerian military regimes gave top priority to higher education through financing, planning and staffing of the universities system of Nigeria. The first chapter is designed to set a general guideline for this research, mainly pointing to various methodological and theoretical foundations of the research. Chapter Two throws some light on the development of the British colonial policies that have influenced the contemporary behavior of the Nigerian public policy makers. In addition, it lays a foundation for the subsequent chapters through critical analysis of issues in the historical dynamics of Nigeria. Chapter Three focuses mainly on the comparative analysis of the general military public policy decrees from 1966 to 1978, regime by regime. The importance of this chapter is the fact that it synthesizes in an orderly manner those 'major decrees or public policies of the various Nigerian military regimes. Chapter Four is devoted to the study of a brief history of educational policies and philosophies in Nigeria. It examines the place of the University Education on the list of priorities affected by the Nigerian public policies. An effort is made to assess higher education policies and their implementation. In Chapter Five, an attempt is made to examine higher education policies under the Nigerian military regimes. Major emphasis is placed on policy orientations rather than technical issues. This section is pertinent and interesting because it is based upon a critical evaluation, as well as an objective assessment of Nigerian higher education policies. Chapter Six is devoted to the implementation of Nigerian higher education policies under the military regimes. It is in this chapter that the three policy areas--financing, staffing and planning are re-evaluated. Chapter Seven then deals with the evaluation and analysis of the problems and Chapter Eight presents the general summary and conclusions. As a part of the summary and conclusions, the overall implications, recommendations and contributions are presented. Thus, based on data available, it seems clear that the Nigerian military regimes developed and implemented an effective national higher education policy and gave financial, planning, and staffing priority to that policy. As a result, there are more equitable educational opportunities across the nation and the quality of education received has improved significantly under the Nigerian military regimes.