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HND vs Bsc: How to Beat Degree with Higher National Diploma

The first question I ask any HND admission seeker is “Why don’t you consider direct entry instead?”

Nothing is practically wrong with going for HND or being an HND holder. Or I should say, nothing should be wrong with it. But from a different point of view, things may not be promising for you if you aim very higher with your certificate in the new Nigeria.

Federal Government has been working on bridging the gap between BSc and HND. This is why recently, in certain agencies, HND holders are upgraded to the level of their degree counterparts.

However, this dichotomy may remain long in other agencies and in private sectors .

So what’s your position with your HND?

Below is a series of limitations with Higher National Diploma which Degree holders are not experiencing.

1. BSc holders are usually considered for teaching (education) without further qualifications. Whereas, HND holders are expected to have in addition, PDG – Postgraduate Diploma in Education.

2. BSc holders are mostly accepted for MSc admission without further qualifications. Whereas, some schools will not admit an HND holder without professional qualifications (such as ICAN etc) or PGD

3. BSc holders are usually assigned with administrative duties at work rather than practical field assignments which their HND counterparts are exposed to.

4. Except most recently and to a few government establishments, HND holders were formerly employed with Grade Level 7; GL07 as opposed to Grade Level 08 for BSc holders. Yet, they are still limited to advancing beyond Grade level 14.

Does this mean it’s a woe to be a holder of HND?


But the best advice still remains the same. Upgrade yourself!

Then, how?

Consider obtaining a Direct Entry form to further your education to BSc. If you want to win the same position as the BSCs, you must be there too. No other way!

I know this may sound absurd but it’s real and it can be the best thing to do. Most people have gone down to reobtain JAMB UTME and reapply to the university. That’s worse. But you have a quicker way.

If you obtain JAMB DE form with National Diploma (ND), you’ll be given admission to 200 level of your proposed course. But with HND, you could be given a 300 level course. Most schools are accepting this. See the list of those universities here .

For instance, UNILORIN, for Engineering, accepts HND in a relevant Engineering discipline at Distinction or Upper Credits level from recognized Polytechnic or College of Technology after NYSC and may be considered for upgrading to 300 Level.

This can be a way out of lower-grade stigma for HND holders too. For example, the University of Ilorin accepts HND Lower Credit for the following courses and more.

1. COMPUTER SCIENCE : in Computer Science

2. MASS COMMUNICATION : HND (at least with Lower Credit) in Journalism, Mass Communication, Public Relations and Advertising.

3. AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT : A Higher National Diploma (HND or equivalent) in Agriculture or related field of study with a minimum of lower credit from a recognized institution in Animal Husbandry, Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology, Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Food Science, Home Economics, Fishery, Forestry and Wildlife, etc; will be admitted into 300 level.

Note that I only use UNILORIN as a point of reference here, hundreds of other schools are accepting HND holders for Direct Entry admission on the same terms. Check JAMB brochure.

As already mentioned, most schools are not considering HND holders for Masters programme. Yet we have a handful of these universities who admit you with a convincing grade if you have HND.

See the list below.

1. Achievers University Owo

2. Niger Delta University

3. Federal University of Technology Minna

4. Bayero University Dangote Business School

5. Afe Babalola University

6. University of Ilorin

7. And four others

This is equally called HND to Bsc Conversational programme. It is usually a year or two academic programmes that is taken to convert HND to Degree in the same or related course. This is why it is called HND-Bsc Conversion programme.

The programme can also be taken to upgrade a weaker degree grade in the same course or to another.

In most countries where Higher National Diploma is discriminated, holders of this qualification resolve to the Top-up degree to be equivalent to or recognized as their Bsc counterparts.

How does this work?

You obtain the form usually sold by universities. You’re admitted for a year or two academic classes, tests and exams and after, you’re awarded BSc.

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BSc Federal Government HND Nigeria PDG


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