More than 13,000 Nigerians are yearly gaining admission into American universities and higher colleges.
The figure was said to have been more than that before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the general lockdown when it went down to around 11,000 from 12,000. It has now increase even as Nigeria retains the 10th position globally among the countries with the highest number of foreign students in the US schools.
The Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate General Lagos, Stephen Ibelli, made this disclosure last week in Lagos at an inaugural higher education conference organised by the diplomatic mission.
The conference, with the theme ‘Opening new frontiers: Mobilising stakeholders to build long-term partnership between the US and Nigerian institutions of higher learning” had many Nigerian vice chancellors from both the public and private universities, as well as scholars from the US schools as participants.
Ibelli expressed the commitment of the U.S. government to always support initiatives that could promote access to quality education and strengthen human capital development for inclusive economic growth and development in Nigeria.
He noted that “Nigerians no doubt love quality education under a stable academic calendar, hence, the reason many of them are attracted to the US schools either as tuition-paying or scholarship students.”
He, however, urged Nigerian universities to explore the longstanding U.S./Nigeria educational ties to open new frontiers, particularly in the area of open and distance learning, which is capable of enhancing quality of learning, teaching and research in Nigerian schools.
In his remark, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, represented by his deputy, Dr Chris Mayaki, said that Nigerian universities truly wanted to reposition for excellence and global competitiveness and had already started the process.
He said that part of the process was the deployment of ICT in teaching and learning, development of the open and distance education systems, upgrading of the curricula to reflect the current and future economic realities and effectively addressing the country’s population explosion.
He said Nigerian universities would certainly partner in areas possible with the US schools
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