The increasing exodus of Nigerian students to foreign lands in search of quality education is a cause for concern. EHIME ALEX peruses Nexford University’s efforts to change the narrative
Over the years, many Nigerians have left their home country to study abroad, and never to return home. Their intellect and skills are being used for the development of other nations, while Nigeria suffers. However, with Nexford University’s 100 per cent online programmes, the hope of stopping brain drain is here.
Recently, the institution graduated the first set of 200 Nigerian master’s degree scholars from its School of Business Administration.
Nexford is enabling a greater social and economic mobility as part of its push to stop brain drain, said its Country Manager for Nigeria, Miss Olamidun Majekodunmi, at a much earlier event.
Brain drain has been one of the greatest obstacles to Nigeria’s development and, by extension, African continent. In fact, Nigeria is suffering from the shortage of professionals and skillful individuals necessary for its socio-economic growth.
A 1996 study estimated that more than 21,000 Nigerian medical doctors were practising in the United States of America. While very few factors could arguably justify studying abroad, they can’t pass for the necessity to have a sound educational system in Nigeria.
With its large youth population and expanding middle class, Nigeria has become one of the most sought-after markets for students’ recruiters in many countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, U.S. and the United Kingdom.
A look at other various reports showed that Nigeria’s outbound student mobility greatly exceeds that of other African markets.
The recent graduation of 200 Nigerians from Nexford’s MBA programme is a pointer that the university is taking the lead towards a “greater” social and economic mobility for the country.
“Nexford University’s mission is to enable greater social and economic mobility across the world by providing learners access to a high-quality, affordable, dynamic learning experience 100 per cent online that prepares them for the global workplace,” the institution posted on its official website.
This commitment to stop ‘brain drain’, again, signposted Nexford’s commitment to ensuring that Nigerians have the potential to contribute to global economic growth.
It was celebration galore, anyway, when Nexford, a next-generation university for leaders, recently graduated the pioneer set of 2020-2021 MBA class, which included employees of Sterling Bank, Dangote Cement, Union Bank, Play Network and Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs.
Currently, Nexford runs programmes for undergraduates and graduates, certificates and intermediate and advanced courses. These include studies in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Internet of Things, Cybersecurity Leadership, Branding and Creative Direction, Marketing Strategy and Planning.
“It’s with a huge dose of pride and the ultimate privilege to recognise the most beautiful and the most distinguished class of 2020/21.
“You are distinguished. You are educated among the one per cent of the world. You are shaping not just your own future but the future of the world around you. You are decisive; you chart your own path, and you achieve your goals. You are successful and you command great respect,” said Majekodunmi to the students at the graduation.
According to her, the university prides itself as an institution where learners progress based on the mastery of competencies, achieve affordable, high-quality learning and are adequately prepared for today’s world.
She added, “We must be proud of what we’ve all achieved together as we celebrate this set of 200 pioneer MBA graduates from Nigeria alone. This is only the beginning,” emphasising the ceremony marked a major milestone, but “no small task to achieve” in getting an MBA degree.
“We must be proud of what we’ve all achieved together as we celebrate this set of 200 pioneer MBA graduates from Nigeria alone. This is only the beginning,” the country manager added.
What Nexford University has started is encouraging and would require the right political atmosphere. It is in this line that the call for a public-private partnership to address Nigeria’s education sector by the Nigerian former Minister of Education, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, could be viewed.
According to Ezekwesili, who is the Advisory Board Member of Nexford University, “it is about the public and private sectors working in harmony.”
She said it was demanding to address issues of access, relevance and quality. “It requires the government as regulator of education, the standard sectors as well as the private sector, with a lot more money to support the kind of quality faculty that teaches the kind of things that Nexford is able to teach.”
Every university system is determined by the quality of its faculty and curriculum, Ezekwesili stressed.
“If you do not work with your private sector for tertiary education, you will be producing graduates that have no business in the economy; so, they will become jobless. It is important to bear that in mind in the way we design education policies,” she added.
For the Senior Pastor of Trinity House Church, Ituah Ighodalo, the pandemic made virtual education part of the new normal.
“Virtual education is where you can receive education anywhere in the world and education-knowledge is power. Without knowledge, the people are defeated; the more knowledge and exposure you have, the more you can be an international citizen, the better you are,” the Trinity senior pastor said.
Founder of Andela, Mr Iyin Aboyeji, said it was important for Nigerians to understand that all of a sudden, there was a huge shift from natural resources being the primary source of a country’s wealth to human resources. “That is why the work that Nexford is doing is very important. Online education is fast becoming a lifeline for our schools.”
Seyi Durodola and Anuoluwapo Ademuyiwa were among the “distinguished” graduates recently awarded the MBA certification.
“Durodola is a highly engaged individual, chief networker, group leader among classmates, socialising, attended every Nexford event, an all-around community advocate, and a guy whose name will be remembered among the class, said Majekodunmi.
Ademuyiwa is a highly engaged individual, sharing and amplifying Nexford as an ambassador across his platforms, “very” vocal and honest about his academic experience, added the Nexford country manager.
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