As the ASUU strike enters its 13th week, U.S educational experts have called on Nigerian universities to look outside the government for the funding of their institutions.
The call was made during a two-day conference organised by the Public Affairs Section of the US Consulate-General as part of efforts to strengthen the education system in Nigeria.
One of the U.S. higher education experts, Dr. Patrick Bennett, vice-president of Academic Quality and Planning at Franklin University, Ohio, shared the U.S perspective on higher education partnerships and funding.
Dr. Bennett discussed best practices in exploring potential revenue streams and resources outside of government funding for higher education and how universities can build and maintain productive relationships with alumni, the private sector, and other donor institutions.
“There has been a deeper understanding of each other’s educational systems. “Through technology, we have the opportunities to link more universities together in our increasingly globalized world,” he said.
The U.S Mission has a longstanding commitment to supporting educational institutions and strengthening an education system that enables students to access quality education throughout Nigeria.
One of the U.S Government-sponsored academic exchanges is the Fulbright program which provides opportunities for Nigerian university students and faculty members to engage in collaborative research in U.S institutions across various academic fields.
Mobilising over 30 vice-chancellors from Nigeria’s federal, state, and private universities, five U.S higher education experts, and representatives from the Nigeria Universities Commission, explored opportunities for building and sustaining institutional partnerships and ideas for joint degree programs.
The move by the U.S Consulate-General was to collaborate with Nigerian universities – both public and private – especially as funding to seek foreign education has remained uncertain for Nigerian families.
In his opening remarks, the Public Affairs Officer, U.S Consulate, Stephen Ibelli highlighted the U.S Mission’s commitment to supporting initiatives that strengthen educational and cultural ties between Nigeria and the United States.
He explained that the overarching goal of the conference was to build on the longstanding U.S-Nigeria educational ties by opening new frontiers of partnerships capable of enhancing the quality of learning, teaching and research, as well as bolstering the global competitiveness of higher educational institutions in Nigeria.
“This is a giant step forward,” Ibelli said. “Bringing U.S and Nigerian universities closer together, exploring future partnerships and discussing ideas for joint degrees with American experts, were great outcomes of the higher education conference.”
The U.S-Nigeria academic partnerships are committed to supporting initiatives that promote access to quality education and strengthen human capital for inclusive economic growth and development in Nigeria.