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How Nigerian universities can rise to the level of Oxford & Cambridge Varsity — Stakeholders

Speakers at a Freshers Event held for Nigerian students going for postgraduate studies in Oxford and Cambridge Universities in the United Kingdom, UK, have given tips on how Nigerian universities can rise to the level the two institutions and others have attained in global recognition.

The event, which was held at the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos under the auspices of the Oxford and Cambridge Club of Nigeria, had in attendance alumni of the two universities.

The President, Oxford and Cambridge Club of Nigeria, Mr Lanre Fatimilehin, opined that quality investment in education and partnership with the private concerns could do the magic.

“When we talk about funding of the sector, the government, though has a role to play, should not be the main player. The government would always talk about inadequate resources, but if our universities are ready to partner with the private sector and create solutions to problems, things would change.

“Our universities must learn how to translate knowledge to solutions to societal problems. By doing this, they can make money and grow. Can anyone imagine how much Oxford University is making from its partnership that led to the COVID-19 vaccines. I am sure the money they make from that is going to be channelled into other things for the university to grow. Universities like Oxford have become the birthplace of many businesses,” he said.

A past President of the club, Mr Timi Austen Peters, said Nigerian universities should learn how to prepare their students for life generally.

“I attended Cambridge and my children did same. These are institutions that prepare their students for life. Students are trained to be focused and to be ready to read for their degrees. Products from such schools will be able to compete globally and then attract great things to their schools,” he said.

Also speaking, Prof. Bomi Ogedengbe, a member of the club, lamented the rot the education system is now experiencing.

“I had all my education in the UK and trained as a medical doctor and came back to Nigeria to work at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital where I retired. That was because the level we were in the 1970s and 80s was good.

Adequate funding of the sector, incentives to the teachers, partnership with the private sector can all help the system to become better,”she noted.

Chibueze Ewuzie, a banker who is going for an MBA programme at Oxford, noted that Nigerian universities seem to be preparing their students for the past and not the future.

“What I mean by saying that we are preparing students for the past and not the future is that our curricular are archaic. Some are as old as over 20 years. Now, when you prepare students with a curriculum that is over 20 years old, what do you expect? Is the world and work places the same as they were 20 years ago,” he asked.

Another student going for an MBA programme, Miss Ifeoluwa Ogunbufunmi, noted that Nigerian universities have a long way to go.

“Imagine that to get transcripts can be like going to war. I know a friend whose admission to a foreign university was cancelled because she could not get her transcripts from her university on time. We have to start the process of mending the system from the basics,” she said.

Source: The Abusite

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