The Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) yesterday decried the high level of youth unemployment and employability of Nigerian universities graduates. The vice chancellors made the assertion during their discussions at the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete while flagging off of the 32nd edition of its annual conference. Chairman of the AVCNU, Professor Debo Adeyewa, in his opening address, said all stakeholders, especially the vice chancellors should tackle the nagging issues urgently if the country desires to rise above the global challenges of 21st century. The development came on the heels of the admonition by the host and KWASU Vice Chancellor, Professor Abdulrasheed Na'Allah, who said the vice chancellors should not jettison their primary teaching roles for administrative endeavours to continuously enhance knowledge. Adeyewa said: "I am glad to note that the 2017 AVCNU conference has put together the theme and sub-themes to address some relevant and critical issues. "The theme: 21st Century University Education in Nigeria-Prospects and Challenges, is quite apt and topical at this point in our national development. "In particular, it is heart-warming that the conference will deliberate on the delicate issues of youth unemployment and employability of our graduates." On the past deliberations of the vice chancellors cutting across federal, state and private universities, the AVCNU leader said the Keffi declaration recommended guidelines for the award of honorary degrees just as the 29th edition held at Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) Ado-Ekiti tackled the challenges of plagiarism. "We still have myriads of issues confronting tertiary education in this country and the best group of people equipped to discuss this is the Vice Chancellors of our ivory towers. The best place to discuss these issues is KWASU, Malete," he added. Adeyewa praised the tenacity and audacity of his colleagues in coming up with solutions to the many social, academic, financial, municipal and infrastructure challenges in Nigerian Universities. He lamented that a greater part of the challenges remained unresolved, noting, "We still have formidable challenges confronting our universities and our dear nation. "The entrepreneurship, quality assurance, relevance to sustainable development, including the challenge of climate change, leveraging on ICT and Open Education Resources and International collaboration in the Nigerian University System are issues all on the front burner." He said without adequate investment in education, Nigeria would not be able to compete favourably in the market place of the knowledge economy of the 21st century. He maintained that there would be no poverty alleviation without significant improvement in educational standard through a deliberate and momentous increase in the funding of education.