The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, last Tuesday hosted a four-man delegation from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom (UK) currently in Nigeria facilitating a Train-the Trainer (TTT) Workshop on Professional Development Course for Leaders of Teaching and Learning in Nigerian Universities.

Receiving the delegation, Professor Rasheed noted with delight that there was over 100 per cent participation at the Workshop by the universities with 82 in attendance from the proposed 80 and that it was a worthwhile programme for the entire Nigerian University System (NUS). While commending the facilitators for the collaboration with the NUC, he said the Commission would sit down with the Federal Ministry of Education to determine the future of the workshop outcome, with a bid to ensure that maximum benefit was derived from the partnership. He said that NUC would sustain the relationship built with Sussex and therefore proposed the need for the workshop to be an annual programme in the NUS Calendar.

On the relationship between British universities and their counterparts in Nigeria, the Executive Secretary canvassed for UK universities to design their programmes to meet the needs of not just Nigeria but the entire Africa as that would enable them attract more patronage from the continent. This, he said, would enable Africans especially Nigerian students to address some of the local challenges in their various countries. He observed that a situation where UK universities’ curricula do not take into consideration the peculiar challenges of the African continent would hamper patronage. He, however, said that University of Sussex was a good institution that the Commission would continue to work with closely as an outlet for postgraduate programmes for academics in the Nigerian universities.

The Executive Secretary disclosed that NUC was working towards receiving the Vice-Chancellor of the UK University and his team in December when the gathering of their Nigerian Alumni’s would take place in Abuja. According to him, the Commission intend to bring together members of the Alumni of the university resident in Abuja to work with the team to make the planning the biggest gathering of Alumni in December. He recalled that the likes of the present Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor AbdallahUbaAdamu and the Managing Director of NIMET were among the list of personalities in the Alumni.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation and the University’s Director of International Recruitment and Development, Professor Richard Follett said that the familiarisation visit was to interface with the Executive Secretary on how productive and worthwhile the programme had been for the participants. He said it was also to open up channel for closer collaboration with the NUS in the areas of teaching, partnership and faculty training especially on the blended learning mode where academics would be trained on Higher Education Pedagogy. He explained that the University of Sussex was strong in the Arts and Humanities, emphasising that a good number of Nigerians students were resident in the University undertaking various programmes. He disclosed that the University recently hosted a Creative and Critical Writing Workshop in Abuja and that the team would be back in Abuja in December for the Conference of its Alumni in Nigeria.

In the team were Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research, Professor Michael Davies; Regional Officer, West Africa, Ify Udofia and Senior International Officer Africa/ Middle East, Mr. TosinAdebisi.

At the meeting were Directors of the Directorates of Research, Innovation and Information Technology, Dr. Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf; International Cooperation and Liaison Services, Mrs. Constance Goddy-Nnadi; Finance and Accounts, Mr. Sam Onazi and the Deputy Directors, Information Division, Mr. HarunaLawalAjo and International Cooperation, Mrs. Florence Asemadahun.