You may have started looking out for universities in Nigeria where you would love to undergo your economics degree as an undergraduate and might have seen a whole lot of similarities between some of the courses offered.

Different universities have their minimum entry requirement, which includes minimum SSCE grades, JAMB/UTME subject combinations, even though there are several similarities between the course contents taught in Nigerian universities.

Economics degree students have to focus majorly on the core subjects offered in their course curriculum. The courses include:

  • Principles of Accounting;
  • Microeconomics; and
  • Macroeconomics

However, individual universities will have other course contents listed in their curriculum that ranges from quantitative economics to the history of economics. There is a lot of similarities and overlapping of course contents taught in the instuitions, but the respective university will teach the classes based on the lecturer’s in charge experience, research and expertise in the course.

There are reasons why economics degree courses in Nigerian universities have features similar to each other regarding the core topics taught to students throughout Nigeria over the past years. There has been a lot of requests, agitations, complaints from undergraduates and the universities demanding for review and changes to be implemented on the way economics is being taught in the university.

The Economics Syllabus in Many Nigerian Universities Needs Review

One of the major complaints laid against the undergraduate economics degree syllabus used in most Nigerian university is that many of the institutions focus on the neoclassical school of thought.

In summary, the neoclassical school of thought disregarded the classical school of thought and came up with its own theory that centres on supply and demand while basing its assumption on the fact that it is only the economics agents that can make a decision and maximise profits personally.

This school of thought became popular and widely accepted in the 20th century. It is considered to be one of the most popular if not the most popular school of thought which is taught to the economics student in universities today. More so, the neoclassical thought boils down on the assumptions that individuals rationally think out of the decision to be made before going ahead with it.

Although the thought of this school has been so influential, there have been some eyebrows raised on the fact that much focus has been centred on the neoclassical school of thought and the economic models associated with it. Therefore students of economics are being deprived of the opportunity to learn and understand the concept of other schools of thoughts that are very important.

Some of the student society and academia in the Nigerian society has spoken about the method which has been adopted to teach the economics student is crude and old.

Campus envirionment
Some student organisation and the elite group have requested for a review in economics degree curriculum (Source: Unsplash)

Comments Made by Nigerian Economics Society (NES) On Economics Syllabus

There has been some push for the review of economics syllabus by the Nigerian Economic Society (NES). Due to this, there has been a subtle request from the ministry of education on the need for a proper review of the undergraduate economics syllabus review.

There has also been an advocate made from all angles on the need for a better educative and informative syllabus that covers more exciting subject matter and exposes the students to a lot more knowledge about the course. One of the objectives of NES is to "Make Nigerian Economists and Social Scientist relevant to Nigerian economic, social and political processes". 

In one of the postgraduate thesis submitted to YABATECH University on QUALITY ASSURANCE AND ECONOMICS EDUCATION IN NIGERIA by Lukman Raimi. The paper starts by focusing on the need for improved teaching culture among lecturers, and improved learning infrastructure and also a recommendation on syllabus review and positive impact on economics education in universities.

The significant issues raised by concerned individuals, groups and organisation are that proper curriculum should be implemented and taught in school rather than focusing on a specific old aspect of economics degree course topics.

Aside from the request for curriculum reviews generally, regarding economics degree, some highlights of what should be modified are listed below;

  • Too much focus on a specific school of thought, and the old form of teaching methods.
  • Little or no inclusion of ethical knowledge and general effects of polices around economics in the country and
  • Little or no focus on economic history,  which includes major events and downtime in the country's financial system.

Request and push for undergraduate economics syllabus reviews by individuals, groups, organisation and many more might not get so far, as some other individual and organisation has argued that the present syllabus has made the previous sets of graduates. It means the curriculum is still perceived as useful in teaching students in the university.

Bank building
Individuals, banks and elite have called for a review of Economics degree in universities. (Source: Unsplash)

Alternative Theories and Topics In Economics Curriculum That Should be Thought In Universities

There are a lot of schools of thought that can be taught to students in economics degree. Some example of such school of thought includes;

  • Ecological economics
  • Institutional Economics
  • Marxist economics and
  • Post-Keynesian economics. 

Considering the traction on some of the school of thought, others have good theories than the rest in today's economic world; therefore it is essential that during the economics classes a wide range of economics school of thought (opinions) and theories should be taught.

Based on the fact that economics relates more to social science, it is highly likely none of its theories can go obsolete.

In history, there could be different versions of events revolving around history, and it can also differ from the details obtained depending on the historian in question; even interpretation of economic data and events can be done in several different ways.

There are several points of view relating to how students understand the concept of economics; also it helps the student's insights growth thereby using different points of view to analyse their daily activities either in the university or after.

Analysis and insightful solution skills obtained by the economics students are highly demanded and appreciated by employers in the labour market, while students who are equipped with necessary skills would possess more exceptional analytical skills and be able to perform better in their new job role.

The Inconsistency Observed In Neoclassical Economic Theories

Another reason why there has been a considerable demand and clamouring for the revision of undergraduate economics degree curriculum is also based on the fact that there is a lot of assumption of models and theories in the neoclassical school of thought which believes that an individual logically makes his/her decision, while a lot of studies has explained that it is not a necessary phenomenon.

Indeed, there is another section in the economics referred to as behavioural economics, which most of the time revolves around the assumption that individual are imperfect economic agent-this assumptions contradicts most of the neoclassical models of economics. Although accepting this kind of school of thought might seem unreasonable, it could help you to understand the concept of economic decision-making and better analyse them.

Financials
The economic situation of Nigeria has brought a lot of question on whether to rethink how economics is being taught in universities. (Source: Unsplash)

Apart from neoclassical economics school of thought, there are other outstanding schools of thought that should be considered as important economics knowledge passed to students in the university. A lot of universities have reduced the level at which they placed importance on this school of thoughts, marginalising the school of thoughts with their theories and models are worth studying in the university.

However, it is not vivid whether the request and demands for the economics curriculum review in Nigerian universities would be attended to; it is, however, essential to understanding that some topics would still be taught in the university.

The courses like:

  • Macroeconomics, which involves the unemployment sections;
  • Basics of economic models, ranging from world economics to financial economics;
  • Monetary policies;
  • Economic growth and Economic wealth cause.

The fact remains that the areas mentioned above are considered to be the core section of economics as a field, which saddles an economics graduate with the most relevant basic understanding that makes up economics either globally or locally.

If you have decided to study economics at any university in Nigeria or provided you are a present undergraduate of the economics degree; you might want to research and understand more about this various school of thought or also make an effort to understand the economic history in more defined details.

However, if you have created interest in learning more about these topics; there are various online course materials online, you can study to help expand your knowledge base on the courses. There are several educative websites that you can get on during your leisure time, thereby improving your understanding of several sections of area in the economics of study.

Other options you could turn to, is hiring an economics tutor who would teach you the grey areas you do not understand or the merged areas in the economics course, which is not being taught in the university. 

There are experienced economic tutors scattered across Nigeria and the world who have the knowledge and significant experience in several schools of thoughts, and you would find it exciting tapping from their wealth of knowledge. Superprof is a tutorial site that has various tutors in economics and other courses that are available to equip you with a range of expertise and specialism they have acquired.

If you want to learn more about the economics world, be it from the history of economics to international economics, hiring a competent tutor via the superprof platform can be of help to you in scaling up your potential performance academically.

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Mayowa