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News Education Summit: Delegates Urge Nigerian Government to Encourage Exchange Programmes

Some Nigerian delegates at the ongoing 14th Higher Education Summit in India have called on the Nigerian government to encourage education exchange programmes to boost the economy.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in New Delhi, they were of the view that education exchange programmes would help the country boost her income through capital flight from foreign students.

Mr Michael Adebayo, Education Consultant, Oradean Education Resources Limited based in Lagos, said the education exchange programmes would go a long way to improve the standard of our education.

Adebayo noted that internalisation of education was gaining ground globally, hence the need for Nigerian government to key into this for transfer of knowledge.

According to him, exchange programmes in education can be used to better the economy and also improve on the education system.

“Nigerian government has to sit up to accommodate more of our students and encourage more foreign students.

“Yet, some of them come to India and a lot of money is being brought to India in form of capital flight; this will help Indian to develop their economy.

“Nigeria should begin to look inward on how to attract foreign students because if this is done, it will improve the standard and quality of our education system,” he said.

Adebayo said that since the universities in Nigeria cannot offer admission to all the students, there is need for students to acquire knowledge from other foreign countries to solve problems facing some sectors of the economy.
Also, Mrs Maureen Ezeh, an education consultant at Elpis Group International Limited, said education exchange programmes between Nigeria and other foreign countries would help to position Nigeria at the top on the world ranking list.

Ezeh explained that one of the criteria for ranking universities was the number of foreign students they can accommodate, saying that the number of foreign students coming into Nigerian universities was negligible.

She also urged private universities in Nigeria to contribute their quota in helping the country grow by operating an open educational system.

“Our private universities are operating a closed system, which will not help us as only few of them have international collaborations.

“Most of them don’t have exchange programmes and having this, there is going to be transfer of knowledge to improve our standard and quality.

“Majority of foreign students in India are staying off campuses, so that they can help grow the business and economic activities of their localities and this is not so with private universities in Nigeria.

“However, in Nigeria, all the foreign students of private universities stayed on the campus, which means they cannot socialise, learn local cultures and also will not grow the economy of the environment where they reside,” she said.

In the same vein, Mr Fred Chukwuemeka, a Nigerian delegate, said since the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) recognised cross-boarder education, it was necessary Nigerian government key into the exchange programmes that will help students acquire relevant knowledge to solve problems.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in collaboration with the Government of India to focus on developing an ecosystem for strategic partnerships in the education sector between India and other countries.

The conference with the theme: “Universities of the Future” has over 200 delegates from more than 70 countries from Nigeria, Tanzania, Syria, Lesotho, Afghanistan, Malawi, Guinea, Zambia, UK, amongst others were in attendance for the 14th edition of the conference.

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