More often than not, news of graduates that lose opportunities due to delays in certificate and transcript collection make headlines in major news media in Nigeria.
Getting certificates and transcripts has become a horrifying process that students pray not to experience, especially students from federal and state Nigerian universities. Considering the strenuous and time-consuming procedures, the hostility of the staff involved, and the cost of both official and unofficial expenses, it is enough to frustrate anyone. There are records of those that even lose their lives all in the bid of getting their certificates or transcripts.
Many would think that this only happens to second-class and third-class degree holders, but speaking with Grace, a first-class student of a federal Nigerian university shows that this is not the case. She complained bitterly about how she lost a scholarship opportunity to study abroad because she could not get her transcript delivered on time. She had applied for it five months before the deadline and made constant visits to the university.
Another affected graduate, Monday Chinedu, had lost four job opportunities to this. According to him, “I had applied for my transcript 11 months ago and as I speak to you, I am yet to get it…” He went further to explain how he left his state of residence and returned to his alma mater just to hasten the process but ended up spending N58,000, both officially and for greasing of palms (note that he didn’t say ‘palm’ but ‘palms’).
The Traditional Method of Collecting Certificates and Transcripts
Presently, the collection of certificates and transcripts from a Nigerian university involves paying the transcript fee online, printing the receipt, and going back to the bursary office of the university you graduated from to confirm and submit a copy of the receipt and also a transcript application letter. An assigned staff from the registrar’s office then signs and sends a letter to the exams and records office to process that transcript and send it to the registrar’s office where it is then sent through a courier to the designated address.
This whole process seems easy until you get to face it and end up realizing that it is not as easy as it seems but very ineffective. Whether it is the fault of the staff at the registrar’s office or the exams and records’ office, it is the graduate that is left depressed.
The cost of getting a transcript is dependent on the destination. For local deliveries, it cost between N8,000 to N30,000 and N25,000 to N70,000 for international deliveries. Imagine the fate of a fresh graduate that can’t afford three square meals but has to fund the whole process by himself. But what can be done to avoid this?
The Way Out
It’s 2022, people and going digital is the way. This means that all Nigerian universities should have an online portal for certificate and transcript collection. To go about this, all files and results have to be documented digitally. This would reduce the stacks of papers in offices, save time, and also make retrieval and compilation of different data easy.
One of the reasons for delayed transcript collection is having to look for scattered stacks of results, manually compiling the results, and then typing them. All this stress can be eradicated if results are uploaded online by departments right from the reception of students into the university. It will ensure the accuracy of information and also make it easy for students to access their records anytime.
Many universities claim to have portals for transcript applications. They are not efficient as graduates still flood the registrar’s office. The portal should allow graduates to apply, make payments, and also have their transcript delivered within two to four weeks after application. This process would make the collection more efficient, save costs for graduates and the university, fight corruption, and even make the work of the university staff a walk in the park.
It’s Already Happening
November last year, the University of Ibadan launched their online transcript collection system that has bridged all the gaps and plugged all the leakages between graduation and transcript collection.
They have a system that allows graduated to apply and pay for their transcripts online and receive them in a span of 2 weeks.
It even goes as far as helping you get a physical copy of your transcript via courier no matter where you are in the world!
This is the proof we need to see that it’s not only private universities that should get to enjoy the benefits of technology. It’s quite possible for Federal Universities too.
And seeing as the transcripts are to be paid for, and based on the amount of students that graduate from Federal Universities you can expect that UI will be making a profit on this platform eventually.
The Full Picture
Integrating an online portal for transcript and certificate collection into the school management system of the university will make the transition from student to graduate much more seamless.
The idea is to manage and document a student’s journey from when they apply to when they are collecting their transcripts and/or certificates on a user-friendly and online portal. What this does is that it further reduces the need for human interaction with the system, and makes transcript and certificate collection easy.
In simple terms, while the school management system is calculating your results as you progress through your course of study, a part of your final transcript is being created, and once you’re done, and the results are in, your transcript and certificate are a button’s click away.
Article Credit: FlexiSAF Edusoft. FlexiSAF Edusoft is an education technology company that provides innovative software solutions to educational institutions in Nigeria and other African countries.