The University of Lagos, UNILAG and interior ministry have called for a seamless global partnership in the higher education systems.
Speakers at the opening ceremony of the International Week of the University of Lagos, titled, ‘Breaking the Borders of Partnership,’ noted that collaboration was key in recording faster progress in higher education.
In her welcome remarks, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development Services, Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa, said it was the third UNILAG International Week.
Vice-Chancellor, UNILAG, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola explained that the theme, ‘Breaking the Borders of Partnerships,’ was chosen so as to devote some attention and strategize on how to overcome the impediments to the effective implementation of Memoranda of Understanding.
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She said, “However, while we celebrate the achievements of higher education internationalization agenda enabled by robust partnerships and collaborations to date, we cannot ignore that more still needs to be done to bring down the high walls of different borders to these partnerships – the challenges that pose barriers to the optimization.
“This situates our theme for this year’s International Week – Breaking the Borders of Partnerships and we expect that we will devote some attention to strategizing to overcome the impediments to the effective implementation of Memoranda of Understanding, some of which are internal to our respective institutions,” for example our institutional academic regulations and institutional culture and some of which are external e.g. governmental strictures arising out of fiscal policies and immigration rules that impede smooth transnational mobilities, which I dare say is the major lever for internationalization.
”We need to proffer new ways to address this challenge to allow for a seamless internationalization.”
The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, explained that by respecting each other’s perspectives, valuing differences and fostering a spirit of inclusivity, partnerships that were not bound by limitations but empowered by possibilities could be built.
He implored the university to continue the invaluable work and not only within the walls of the institutions but also in the broader context of our society through innovative research, academic recommendations and a forward-thinking curriculum.
In his presentation, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Dundee, Prof. Iain Gillespie, who was the keynote speaker added that partnership has the ability to bring together expertise and capacity, saying the core purpose of Universities would be enhanced through partnership.
He said partnership was important because of Capacity building, student choice and opportunity, maximize development and growth, encourage brain circulation, create an enterprising culture, address shared challenges, create accessibility of education, contribute to the quality of education and experience.
Acting Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Chris Maiyaki, explained that the theme of the event was consistent with the cardinal goals of NUC.
He advised UNILAG to review its strategies, saying it had the potential to become the best university in Nigeria and among the top 100 in the world.
Also speaking, Executive Secretary TETFUND, Sonny Echono, reiterated that there was a need to embrace internationalization and create the right atmosphere.