Postgraduate medical fellowship not equivalent to PhD – NUC


The National Universities Commission (NUC) has declared that Fellowship of the National Postgraduate Medicine College of Nigeria (NPMCN) and other Fellowship is not an equivalent to Ph.D degree.

NUC’s pronouncement has laid to rest the contentious argument among academic staff and university management that holders of such fellowship do not need to go for doctorate programme because the fellowship was presumed to be an equivalent to a PhD.

NUC is the regulator of the Nigerian University System (NUS).

Aside Fellowship of NPMCN, NUC said holders of the West African College of Physicians (WACP) or West African College of Surgeons (WACS) or any other recognised foreign fellowship can not be equated as a PhD.

The clarification of NUC may not be unconnected with recent argument by professors with Fellowship that applied for the post of vice chancellor which one of the requirements is a PhD.

”One of the issues on the front burner is the postgraduate training for medical academic, which has no clear cut-guidelines for masters and Ph.D programmes in the clinical sciences,” NUC observed.

In a memo to a federal university, NUC informed the management that PhD degree has no other degree or certificate equivalent to it.

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NUC said, ”For the avoidance of doubt, holders of PhD must have gone through Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Arts (B.A), Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng) and Master of Science (MSc), Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Engineering (M.Eng), or as the case may be in the relevant field.”

In a circular to vice chancellors and the Registrar, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, dated March 3rd, 2020 and signed by the Director of Academic Planning of NUC, Dr N.H.Saliu, the commission said it conferred with officials of the NPMCN and other critical stakeholders on the way forward in the delivery of quality medical education in Nigeria.

He said after exhaustive deliberation at series of meetings held between the commission and the management of NPMCN, stakeholders unanimously agreed to introduce PhD programmes in the clinical sciences in the Nigerian University System, for the postgraduate training of interested medical practitioners and for their career progression, especially for those in the academia.

The commission came out with criteria for PhD programmes in clinical sciences and it is opened to candidates with full Fellowships of either the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, the West African College of Physicians (WACP) or the West African College of Surgeon WACS or any other recognised foreign Fellowship.

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