U.S. Mission, Fulbright scholars chart path to quality education in Nigeria
Stakeholders, scholars and policymakers have proffered solutions to accessing quality education in Nigeria.
This was at the 15th yearly Fulbright Alumni Association of Nigeria conference, themed: “Improving the Quality of Higher Education: Stakeholders Engagement.”
Supported by the U.S. Mission, the conference, organised in partnership with the University of Lagos, explored best practices in promoting access to quality education and strengthening human capital for inclusive economic growth and development in Nigeria.
Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs, U.S. Mission to Nigeria, Adnan Siddiqi, congratulated the Nigerian alumni of the Fulbright programme on their accomplishments and urged them to continue applying the skills and connections they developed in America to their professional pursuits to bolster Nigeria’s educational development.
“Through the Fulbright programme, you cultivated long-lasting friendships with students, scholars, and community leaders in America and worldwide, and you returned to Nigeria to share your knowledge and ideas with your networks,” he said.
Siddiqi noted that the American government is committed to supporting higher education in Nigeria through the Fulbright programme by partnering with academic, research and cultural institutions across the country.
“International education exchanges benefit both our nations and peoples, boosting intellectual and cross-cultural capital.
“Through these academic exchanges, we contribute to high-quality education, greater cultural ties, and mutual understanding between America and the people of Nigeria,” Siddiqi said.
The Vice-Chancellor, the University of Lagos, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, stated that creativity thrives on problem-solving, adding that time value of knowledge is short.
“With the rate at which knowledge has been produced in the last two decades, whatever we teach our students will soon become obsolete and they are going to have to deal with the world based on how we have taught them.
“Right now, we are looking for solution-driven students, students with the competencies that recognise that the knowledge and problems out there are too big for one person.
“These are students with mindsets that recognise that collaboration is key,” she said.
She further said that education was not just about knowledge, but about competences and the drive to change the country.
According to her, it is imperative for students to get over the prejudices and traditions, and start talking about development and problem-solving.
“Because of that, we will apply the solutions, irrespective of where they are coming from to those problems and those solutions must be captured in the classes that we teach,” Ogunsola said.
The Fulbright conference featured a series of events such as panel discussion on the conference theme, symposium on educational opportunities in America, her foreign policy, arts exhibition, musical performances, networking and mentorship session for prospective Fulbright applicants.