The paper examines the difference that exists in the level of job satisfaction between academic staff in private and public tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Centred on detailed review of literature, the hypothesis formulated for research is whether academic staff in public universities are more satisfied with their jobs compared to academic staff in private universities. The variables with which job satisfaction was measured are recognition, pay and working condition. The sample of the study comprise 120 academic staff – 88 members of staff from a public university and 32 academic staff from a private university within Kwara state, Nigeria. Questionnaires were used as the instrument with which primary data was collected. Independent ‘’t’’ test was performed to obtain the difference in job satisfaction between both sectors of tertiary institution. Also, oral interviews were arbitrarily conducted with 8 academic staff from both universities. The findings of the research indicate that a significant difference in job satisfaction exists between academic staff in private and public universities in Nigeria. The result also showed the following: 1. Academic staff in private universities have better working conditions 2. Academic staff in public universities have better payment package 3. Academic staff in private universities are more recognised for their job. Recommendations were offered by researcher to cater for the short-falls identified from the dichotomy in job satisfaction from both sectors 1. private-public interaction 2.To enhance job satisfaction of academic staff in private universities, Government should formulate policies that will cater for other incentives, such as enjoyed by academic staff in public universities.
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