The British Council has revealed that a £600,000 (N306m) UK-Nigeria grant funded partnership has been earmarked to support systemic change between 20 institutions and organisations.
British Council Chief Executive, Scott McDonald, made the disclosure Monday in Abuja, during the presentation of an overview of Transnational Education in Nigeria by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to a high-powered UK Government Delegation on Higher Education on a working visit to Nigeria.
Speaking shortly before a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on Transnational Education, (TNE) was signed between the British Council and the NUC, he noted that the partnership was aimed at opening up more opportunities for young Nigerians willing to study in the United Kingdom both virtually and physically.
According to him, it would also encourage an exchange of educational, scientific and cultural co-operation between Nigeria and the UK, and also help to develop professional standards for ministry officials, teachers and school leaders.
McDonald, who stressed the commitment of the British Council to a long term investment in the Nigerian education sector as well as its continued growth, maintained that the relationship between UK and Nigeria was very important, not forgetting the key role of the British Council to that effect.
He said: “Our work connects students, teachers and academics in Nigeria and the UK. It opens up access to international education knowledge, to expertise, and to study opportunities for young Nigerians.
“We want to help internationalise education in Nigeria and the UK – both for the benefit of young Nigerians and for young British people. We do this by giving students opportunities to learn new skills, by establishing research collaborations between academics, and by improving the quality of school leadership and assessment methods.
“Learning from each other and exchanging expertise and talent is at the heart of our approach. Together we create mutual understanding and provide sustainable opportunities for people in both countries.
“One of our key focus areas in Higher Education is supporting educational and research cooperation – including Transnational Education (TNE) – between Nigeria and the UK, including through standards and quality assurance.
“Through our regional HE programme, Innovation for African Universities (IAU), we have established UK-Nigeria grant funded partnerships worth £600,000 (N306m), to support systemic change between 20 institutions and organisations. We have also identified opportunities for the further growth of this initiative by working with the Nigerian government.”
Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, who noted that the insecurity challenge which was affecting the country’s ability to attract foreign students and staff, was beyond the control of the NUC.