A new vista in higher education in Nigeria was opened as Technical University (Tech U), Ibadan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Texas Technical University (TTU) Tuesday evening.
TTU is among the top three per cent universities in the world.
With the MoU, the two institutions will start collaborations in forms of exchange programmes for students, lecturers, researchers and other members of staff for internationalization of their degree and post-graduate programmes. Tech U may also emerge as the hub for TTU’s Study Abroad programme in Nigeria and other West African countries.
The exchange programme could commence as early as the 2019/2020 Academic session with TTU students coming for their six weeks internships in factories and institutions in Ibadan and Lagos as may be facilitated by the Tech U.
Tagged ‘Collaborative Agreement for Study Abroad and Research’ between students and staff of the two institutions, the partnership will afford students of Tech U to complete their degree programme at TTU and proceed to post graduate studies if they desire. TTU has an expansive campus spread across the major parts of Lubbock, a serene city in Texas, United States of America.
The partnership will also afford students and staff Tech U to participate in short and postgraduate programmes in which TTU has special capacity and competence. Researchers in both institutions will also collaborate in areas of common interest to internationalize their works.
Signing the agreement at his office, the TTU President (Vice Chancellor equivalent), Lawrence Schovance, said his institution was elated to expand scholarly activities to Nigeria through the partnership with Tech U.
Schovance, who is an engineering professor, explained that the partnership was another step forward in TTU’s goal of widening its international operations to ensure that its students and faculty enjoy international enrichment in their studies and research.
He pointed out that the partnership will bring great opportunities to both students and faculty of the two institutions. He added that Nigeria has now become a priority for TTU in its efforts at achieving global connections for studying, teaching and research.
An elated Tech U Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ayobami Salami, said a major goal of Tech U is to produce graduates who will be key players within the national space and in the larger global economy. For it to happen, Salami said internationalization is key, hence the huge satisfaction with the TTU partnership.
He said the university was happy to have the partnership from its first year of operation, pointing out that it conveys the level of seriousness and determination of the management and promoters of Tech U to the ideals of sound education that will enable their graduates make meaningful contributions to the progress of the society.
“I am very excited seeing the dream coming to reality.” Salami said.
On funding and immigration challenges related to the implementation of the partnership, Salami told The Nation that the institution does not fully rely on the government. He said Tech U already has three tiers of funding which include government, donors, the private sector and investors.
The Vice Chancellor further explained that the relevant departments at TTU will handle all immigration aspects of the collaboration for students and staff.
In his speech, the TTU Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Ibidapo-Obe, said the partnership was the first among the steps to take the new university to the international scene. He explained that in the next 50 years, Tech U will be a model university in Nigeria given this type of partnerships and related initiatives.
Ibidapo-Obe, who is a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, said Tech U will not back down on its vision to produce graduates who can think with their heads and work with their hands to develop Nigeria and make great impact in the global community.
He pointed out that Tech U has identified commonalities between the two universities, stressing that faculty and staff of TTU, for instance, can come to Tech U for Fulbright specialty programme in Nigeria through Tech U.
TTU’s programmes are highly rated with its research works regarded as among the best in the United States.