The Influence of Religion on Higher Education in Nigeria: Exploring Its Implication on National Development

Abstract: Nigeria is undergoing economic, social, political, and educational reforms, much like any other nation. This can be achievable when education is given high priority. The importance and relevance of education and higher education in particular cannot be neglected when development is aimed at all levels. Religion has a role to play when it concerns development. The purpose of this research is to investigate how religious owned private higher institutions impact the development of higher education and its implication on development in Nigeria. It studies the relationship between religion, higher education and national development in Nigeria.

Previous studies have focused on impact education on development. Thus the thrust of this work centers on the impact of religion on higher education in the development process and progress of Nigeria. This work adopts Emile Durkheim’s theory of functionalism, which holds that religion has functions to perform. The methodology applied in this paper is exploratory. The findings reveal that religion has both positive and negative impacts on higher education and national development in Nigeria. Through the religious establishment of higher institutions there is easy access to higher education. This paper examines and recommends that religion and education are inseparable and hence both are needed for national development. It highlights how important it is for decision-makers to acknowledge and value their contributions.

      Keywords: Higher Education, National Development, Religion

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