The Minister State for Education in Nigeria, Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu, has said that the Transnational Education (TNE) initiative between the United Kingdom and the Nigerian Government will help to ease the more than 50 per cent university admission challenges in the country.
The minister stated this when he received in audience the Nigerian-UK Steering Committee on Transnational Higher Education (NIG-UK-HE-TNE) in Abuja, Nigeria.
He said the population of secondary school-leavers in Nigeria, seeking admission to tertiary institutions, is growing, and the more than 260 universities in Nigeria cannot absorb them, hence the need for the collaboration.
“If you go by statistics, we have almost more than a million qualified candidates that are due for admission to the university each year.
“The universities can take probably only 50 to 60% of the candidates. So, what do we do with the remaining candidates? That’s why we also have the need for the transnational education system.
“The necessary legal backing for the practice of the Transnational Education system in Nigeria has been been put in place, which the National University Commission and the Federal Ministry of Education are ready to support at all times.
“The collaboration will ease brain drain which has been a perennial problem on the side of the Nigerian tertiary institutions, increase the capacity of lecturers and the institutions, reduce pressure and demand for foreign exchange, increase internally Generated Revenue and enhance Gross Domestic Product,” he said.
He, however, called on the UK Steering Committee to put into consideration cultural and social factors for the acceptability of the programme in Nigeria.
He also urged the committee to ensure that certificates are backed by skills that will make candidates to fit into global competitiveness.
The leader of the delegation, the UK Government international education champion, Prof. Steven Smith, described the UK-Nigeria relationship as strong and deep, especially in education, producing incredible results.
“The only way forward is to work together in partnership so that we the British institutions can work with Nigerian institutions to understand their needs and wants for the benefit of both countries.
“To that effect, we have had long years of negotiations with the NUC on the guidelines of transnational education,” he said.
He assured that the quality of education in the UK will be similar to what will be taught in Nigeria, thereby making it cheaper for parents and students who would want to travel to the UK to acquire the same quality certificate.