Inexperienced vitality, synthetic intelligence, medical interventions and entrepreneurial improvements, particularly within the fintech sector, are a few of the targets of a brand new partnership between the College of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, and a few European counterparts.
Championed by UNILAG, and with the help of Nigeria’s Consulate Workplace in Frankfurt, Germany, the initiative, which is tagged, “Partnership for Change,” is, in keeping with the organisers, aimed toward constructing symbiotic relationships between Nigerian universities and their choose counterparts in Europe.
The collaboration, the director of UNILAG’s Workplace of Worldwide Relations, Partnerships and Prospects, Ismail Ibrahim, a professor of mass communication, stated, will deal with modern problems with concern, particularly in Nigeria.
To kickstart the method, a crew led by the vice-chancellor of UNILAG, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, with the collaboration of the consulate workplace in Frankfurt, just lately crisscrossed some universities in Germany.
The aim of the go to was to dot the i’s and cross the t’s in direction of firming up the preparations to carry extra tutorial establishments on board.
The same engagement additionally held between UNILAG and a few Scottish universities, the place shows on totally different areas of partnership had been made by the involved events.
The vice-chancellor described the initiative as mutually useful, “and never parasitic.”
He stated the college was welcomed by the European establishments as a result of it was not coming into the partnership empty-handed.
Based on Mr Ogundipe, the continued industrial motion by each the tutorial and non-academic employees unions of Nigerian universities, like a lot of such witnessed prior to now, has performed extra injury to the picture and prospects of the nation’s tutorial establishments.
“There should, subsequently, be deliberate efforts to construct world competitiveness and drive the establishment’s need for impacts,” Mr Ogundipe stated, including that the establishments shouldn’t be allowed to be held again by the circumstances past their management.
Based on Mr Ogundipe, whose tenure as vice-chancellor will likely be over in November, constructing a sound future for the college shouldn’t be about a person however a system that may proceed to run even after his tenure of workplace.
He stated since 2017 when he assumed workplace, the college has attracted not lower than N18 billion price of grants in analysis. He added that not like earlier than when solely researchers in pure sciences and medical fields would win grants, “all schools and even non-academic employees now commonly win grants in a single area or the opposite.”
Mr Ogundipe, a professor of Botany, stated: “We should work in direction of masking the grounds misplaced in school rooms by constructing on partnerships, so that after we resume tutorial actions, we will simply change on our initiatives for affluent future harvest.”
For greater than 4 months, many Nigerian universities have been underneath lock and key over yet-to-be-resolved conflicts between the federal government and the establishments’ employees’ unions.
Other than employees and college students who’ve been negatively impacted by the commercial motion, numerous different members of the schools’ communities together with transporters, meals distributors, store house owners, artisans and others in want of 1 service or the opposite from the schools comparable to assortment of transcripts, certificates and outcomes, have all continued to endure important losses.
The event has additionally additional restricted the possibilities of the schools’ quest for improved world rating and the nation’s drive in direction of socio-economic restoration.
Partnership to the rescue
Moderately than folding its arms whereas the system is grounded, the UNILAG’s partnership workplace stated to handle gaps that restrict their potential to satisfy the Agenda 2030 and the African Union Imaginative and prescient 2063, Nigerian universities should flip to collaborations to leverage alternatives that internationalisation and regionalisation present.
The UNILAG deputy vice-chancellor in control of improvement providers, Ayo Atsenuwa, who oversees the college’s partnership workplace, in her presentation through the conferences with the brand new companions, stated with a scholar inhabitants of 62,215 throughout 12 schools, six institutes and 26 centres, UNILAG runs 88 undergraduate and 129 postgraduate programmes.
Mrs Atsenuwa, a professor of Legislation, stated the college is coming into the partnership totally ready, particularly with many concluded and ongoing modern analysis outputs such because the cassava concrete combination for constructing, ambuvent medical ventilator and vehicular street superior digital flood warning system, amongst others.
She stated; “We’re inspired to champion this partnership having skilled the numerous impacts of different comparable collaborations comparable to these underneath the African Analysis Universities Alliance (ARUA), UMOJA and AFROPEAN World.
“Our synthetic intelligence and fab laboratories, the UNILAG-BOI enterprise incubation hub, and the NITDA ICT hub, are in want of significant partnerships for publicity and data sharing.”
She stated the partnership is aimed toward constructing a worldwide neighborhood of shared future by means of scholar and employees alternate programmes, working of joint levels and programmes, curriculum improvement, internet hosting joint conferences and analysis collaborations.
“Our entrepreneurial centre is likely one of the greatest round however we should endorse continental collaborations to attain better impacts and publicity for college students and employees,” Mrs Atsenuwa stated.
She stated in comparison with most of the German universities being courted, UNILAG is comparatively younger, and thus requires partnership with such older establishments like Johannes Gutenberg College, Mainz, to share concepts, and technical know-how for comparative benefits.
German universities on board
Throughout totally different conferences held on the Goethe College, Frankfurt, and within the metropolis of Mainz, the College of Utilized Sciences, Mainz; Johannes Gutenberg College, Mainz; Schmalkalden College of Utilized Sciences, Schmalkalden, and College of Münster, Münster, all expressed their dedication to creating the partnership a worthwhile enterprise.
The representatives of the Johannes Gutenberg College, which homes the worldwide COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing giant- Biopharmaceutical New Applied sciences (BioNTech), expressed dedication to the partnership, whilst they pledged data switch amongst employees and college students.
Talking on behalf of Schmalkalden, its Mayor, Thomas Kaminski, stated as a bunch to a college and plenty of small scale industries, the neighborhood is constructing inexperienced vitality options and could be glad to companion Nigerian researchers.
He expressed his readiness to make sure data switch amongst involved consultants, saying the inexperienced vitality answer won’t solely deal with the difficulty of ozone layer depletion and the attendant penalties however may also make energy reasonably priced, particularly for the college communities the place uninterrupted energy provide is way a prerequisite.
Mr Kaminski stated; “We’re a small city however one blessed with skills to construct livable societies. Nigeria additionally has its strengths, particularly in human and pure assets, we should mix our data to make our communities liveable for our individuals.”
Different universities, particularly, College of Utilized Science in Mainz, stated it was taken with introducing double diploma programmes in partnership with UNILAG, amongst different certified Nigerian universities.
The programmes, which will likely be taught bodily on the 2 campuses, will, in keeping with the college, additionally provide the beneficiaries a possibility to obtain stipends by means of the German authorities’s scholarship scheme.
Scottish universities too
Other than German universities, the UNILAG crew had additionally earlier met with the administration of some Scottish universities together with Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
At these universities, simply as witnessed in Germany, the small print of the partnerships had been spelt out and every events signed related paperwork for easy take-off.
On the College of Aberdeen, the UNILAG crew was welcomed by Principal/Vice Chancellor, George Boyne, a professor, and the Vice Principal/Deputy Vice Chancellor Worldwide, Alan Speight, a professor, amongst different officers.
There have been shows on Science and Expertise, Vitality, Atmosphere and Entrepreneurship analysis, amongst different fields.
Consulate places of work converse
Each the Nigeria’s Consulate Basic in Frankfurt, Wahab Akande, and his German counterpart in Lagos, Bernd von Münchow-Pohl, have expressed their dedication to the partnership.
Talking with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Akande stated his expertise gained through the years as a diplomat in Europe impressed him to be part of the initiative.
He stated; “The reality is that Germany is thought for her manufacturing capacities, therefore the favored phrase of ‘German Machines.’ However German industries depend on universities to attain their dream. That is what Nigeria should be taught. For this reason this engagement is pricey to us on the consulate workplace.”
On his half, Mr Münchow-Pohl, a PhD certificates holder, stated the dedication of the German authorities to tutorial partnership is evidenced by the funding help to the nation’s establishments in control of worldwide tutorial cooperation.
“The Germany Ministry of Overseas Affairs, along with the Federal Ministry for Science and Analysis, provides important budgetary funding to our establishments in control of worldwide tutorial cooperation such because the German Educational Trade Service (DAAD) or the Alexander von Humboldt Basis,” he stated.
In the meantime, on the journey to Europe had been additionally the director of the college’s distance studying institute, Uchenna Udeani, a professor of science and know-how training, and senior lecturer within the college’s division of statistics and deputy director of the partnership workplace, Mary Akinyemi, amongst others.
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