Nigerian university quality, why the hero falls, was a paper published to uncover the causes of
the gradual decline in the provision of university education in Nigeria between 1960 and 2015.
The paper focused attention on the major reasons identified by past research for the fall. The
paper was desk research, and left many areas of research dangling. The question of where things
had gone wrong remained unanswered by the paper. However, this paper is designed to fill this
gap using a critical realist qualitative approach to investigate where things went wrong. The
paper collects information in the form of semi-structured interviews with 20 professors in the
southwest of Nigeria, with a view to uncovering what the problems were, and are. The findings
reveal that structure (including curricula and standards), mechanisms (such as funding, teaching
methods and assessment), and agents' involvement (in terms of lack of continuity and politics)
are all major areas with failings. The findings also suggest that impatience, time and money are
responsible for the failure of universities' experience, and suggest a need to better know why
things continue to go wrong.