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Why Nigerian students excel in foreign varsities, by Oni

Why Nigerian students excel in foreign varsities, by Oni


FOUNDER and Executive Chairman of Abion Consulting, Mr. Davis Oni, has deplored the emphasis placed on university degrees, insisting that the practice has been responsible for the high rate of unemployment among university graduates in the country.

Oni, in an interview with The Guardian, also asked Nigerians to think about what could be responsible for the excellent performance of Nigerian students in foreign universities, in contrast to what obtains at home. According to him, students who study abroad excel because of the quality and method of teaching and learning, including materials, laboratories, workshops and other resources.

"If you go to Britain,” he observed, "they try to adjust their educational system to the political and economic realities of their country. For example, if you are looking for a plumber or electrician, where are the institutions where you train plumbers and electricians here in Nigeria? But the United Kingdom, United States (U.S.), Canada, Germany and Australia have institutions that train and certify this category of people.”

Oni argued that the Nigerian mentality that everybody must get a university degree was faulty.  "A good plumber could earn more than a university professor in the UK,” he asserted. "The plumber is trained in the technical college and is he is happy to be a plumber. Here, everybody is running after university degrees. Government has to fundamentally develop a policy on education and be determined to provide the proper level of funding needed to execute the policy. The private sector should also be encouraged to play a key role,”

Oni, who studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Greenwich, UK with a scholarship from the British Petroleum Co. Ltd, added: "Success is equal to opportunity plus capability. Many Nigerians have the capability, but they do not have the opportunity when they are here in Nigeria. So, when you add their capability to the opportunities that are open to them when they are in the UK, I am not surprised that they excel: World-class libraries, good lecturers, good facilities and excellent environment.

Describing the UK as the perfect destination for studies, he maintained that his consulting firm is selective in terms of the countries it sends Nigerian students to. "Nigerians tend to love everything foreign. Whenever some students talk to me, I always ask them whether they want to go abroad for the hope of heaven or for the fear of hell; hope of heaven because there are better libraries and better laboratories, and so on or the fear of hell because there is no electricity here and you are tired of armed robbers and bad roads. I always appreciate a situation where students want to go abroad for the hope of heaven.”

He continued:  "Once you get your qualifications from a top British University, you are from a world class university and you can get a good job anywhere. If you have an MSc or PhD from, say, Glasgow University, you are simply irresistible in terms of employment. There is nowhere in the world you cannot get a job. Some of the Nigerian Universities are very good and well known abroad, while others are not. So I think the craze for foreign education arises from the fact that people know that if you struggle and make a good grade from a British University, you are more or less made for life.”

Category: My articles | Added by: ExcedNetwork (27-March-2013)
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