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What's the difference between an associate professor and an assistant professor?

What can one of them do that the other can't? and which is a higher level? can any of them supervise a PhD student?

1 Answer 1

In NIGERIA the academic positions are in the following order of hierarchy:

  1. Graduate Assistant
  2. Assistant Lecturer
  3. Lecture II
  4. Lecturer I
  5. Senior Lecturer
  6. Associate Professor
  7. Professor

There is therefore no "assistant professor" in the academic ranking system in Nigeria. However, by comparison associate professor is a higher ranking of about 7-9 years above Assistant Professor. In my opinion, I think both Associate Professor and Professor in Nigeria would roughly equals to Professor in the United States; similar to the situation in Australia. The UK university/academic ranking system is practised in Nigeria.

Supervision of a PhD depends on university regulations. At my university in Nigeria, there are several requirements in order to be a lead supervisor of a PhD, in particular, (i) you need to have completed your own PhD with relevant post qualification experience, (ii) have been a member of supervisory committee(s) of PhD candidate(s) to completion, or completed a set of training activities in related research area.

Promotions from one academic rank to another takes a minimum of three (3) years in addition to the required or relevant research outputs and publications. There are guidelines by each university on the minimum requirements for promotions across the academic hierarchy.