APCON seeks collaboration with NOUN on training, curriculum development

By Mary Agbokutaye

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has sought for a partnership with the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) on curriculum development and involvement of students’ training in the Mass Communication Department of the university.
APCON Registrar, Dr. Olalekan Fasholapo, said this when he led a 6-man delegation on a courtesy visit to the Vice-Chancellor, at the university headquarters in Abuja.
“Over the years, the National Open University of Nigeria has been an institution to people across all professions,” he said.
According to him, "One of the primary purpose of our visit to NOUN is to see where we can collaborate in such a way that we can say that the graduates that have been produced from NOUN are employable and capable to work in advertising industry."
Speaking further, Fasholapo said APCON is a regulatory body with two sides to the practice of advertising: "one side has to do with the practice of advertising while the other side deals with the business of advertising. Either way, APCON has a body of knowledge to drive the two.
"Now we are reaching out to universities and regulatory agencies of the industry and we need to attract talent to the industry and we need more people that can guaranty the future of the profession."
 The registrar also pointed out that most graduates of mass communication in Nigeria, after graduation, still go to finishing schools before they can be employable in the profession.
Speaking on the benefit inherent in NOUN-APCON partnership, the registrar further hinted that “there is an accreditation programme as a government agency where any school that we collaborate with can be accredited with our programme, graduates from these schools are also given direct membership of APCON without sitting for exams.
“So, these are some of the things we sit down with the schools, look at the curriculum and what is supposed to be our expectations and the body knowledge, both education and training that they supposed to be exposed to. If this is infused into the curriculum, we accredit the programme,” he said.
In his response, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters, welcomed the idea of collaboration adding that it makes “the programme very enriched and when people experienced all manners of trainings they are better practitioners of that particular profession and I will really encourage it."
While advising APCON to go through the National Universities Commission (NUC) for harmonization of curriculum, Peters said that NUC is a regulatory body saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the modes of operations in Nigerian universities.
“If you are so desirous of having your programme into our system, you should reach out to them and if it enters into the National Curriculum through that way, you are more likely to have it in so many universities rather than individual or department," the VC said.
He explained that "what you are asking for is better done at that level so that it will be like an imposing guidance that this is what is coming from NUC because the issue with us is that if we incorporate too many diversions with a particular programme, the NUC accreditation team may not see those other areas."

He informed the visitors of the university's plan to venture into the digital advertising space as it is found with most foreign institutions to expand it's reach to the increasing online community.