Value-based education which is essential for moral, ethical, spiritual and socio-cultural
development and which forms the basis of character and personality development is crucial in higher education.
There is obviously need to examine the extent to which higher education in Nigeria serve as agent of value
orientation and character development. This study investigated the perception of values orientation and
character development by staff and students in three higher institutions in Enugu State, Nigeria. Two research
questions and two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The study sample consisted of 200 staff and
students, randomly selected from a population of 125 staff and 500 students. The instrument for data collection
was a researcher-made questionnaire titled Perception of Values and Character Education Questionnaire
(PVCEQ). The instrument was a four-point Likert-type questionnaire. The test-retest reliability estimate of the
instrument was done to ascertain the internal consistency of the instrument. The overall reliability co-efficient
of 0.80 was obtained, showing that the instrument was reliable. Mean, standard deviation and t-test statistics
were used to answer the research questions and test the hypotheses respectively. The findings of the study
revealed that both staff and students agreed to a great extent that higher education serve as agent of values
orientation and that high education equally exhibit features that result in positive character development.
However, areas of weaknesses in higher education meeting the above responsibilities were equally identified.
Additionally, no significant differences existed in the opinion of staff and students with respect to the two
hypotheses tested. The findings of the study were discussed and recommendations made among others that
teachers should not only model positive behavior but also build caring and supportive relationships.
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