Students of the Technical University (Tech U), Ibadan, are to spend their final year at the Texas Technical University (TTU), Lubbock, United States to complete their Bachelor’s degree.
Its Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ayobami Salami, disclosed this during an interaction with select reporters on the institution’s first anniversary.
Salami also disclosed that Tech U had pooled N500 million for its scholarship fund that would be used to support indigent but brilliant students gaining admission to the university.
He said both institutions would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the partnership at TTU, later this month.
He said the deal would allow students of Tech U to spend one year at the TTU in addition to their first four years of study in Ibadan. They can then proceed for higher degrees at TTU or any other university in the United States.
He described the partnership as a ‘4+1x’ agreement – with the four standing for the four years of study at Tech U, one for the one year at TTU with the x representing infinite number of years of study at any university of the student’s choice anywhere in the world.
TTU is one of top American technical universities producing top-grade graduates for the country’s oil industry and related areas.
With the partnership, Salami said the one-year TTU programme be an icing on the cake for the balanced training already received at Tech U which is 40 per cent practical and 60 per cent academic.
He added that the aim was to produce well-grounded graduates who will be relevant to employers and be able to create employment.
He said the partnership would meet the need of parents and students who desire American training system, adding that it would reduce education tourism and capital flight.
According to him, TTU will share its materials with Tech U because the curricular are compatible.
To achieve this, Salami said the institution has started partnership with relevant professional associations such as the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engineering Academy and COREN.
Tech U is already constructing two workshops for practicals while several organisations, including companies, will soon set up factories where students will gain practical experience. He said the university is in constant dialogue with industry leaders to understand what skills are needed from young graduates so Tech U can continue to integrate such into its training model.
“For us at Tech U, our students won’t just obtain the degree but will also have the skills needed in the industry. So, our mode of training is different because there is convergence of theory and practice. Forty per cent of our training will come from the industry while 60 per cent will be academic.” Salami said.
On the scholarship, the Vice Chancellor explained that the institution came up with the idea to help students that need financial assistance. But he emphasised that Tech U won’t subsidise for students that can afford the fees. Local governments in Oyo State are major contributors to the pool while charitable organisations and individuals have also joined in the support initiative.
Salami said Tech U is already a success story for taking off with 15 approved courses and a total of 183 students in residence.