Nexford University, the Washington D.C.-based next generation university platform, announces the Nigerian launch of its global mentorship program – the “Global Grid”, aimed at developing talent and promoting the personal, professional, and social success of its learners in the country.
The Global Grid is a global mentorship program launched by Nexford University to enable talent across the world to prepare for remote jobs. The program aims to increase awareness around the millions of jobs that are moving online, and the skills learners need to have to qualify for these jobs.
The Global Grid program stems from Nexford’s belief that when equipped with the right education talent should be able to access jobs regardless of location, gender, race or social status. The program will deep dive into the specific skills employers are looking for and how talent across the world can join this virtual, global grid.
The initiative comprises a diverse pool of thought leaders and industry experts from the healthcare, finance, education, human resources, and insurance sectors – involving publicly available webinars and personal mentoring of select learners who successfully apply to participate.
Nexford has carefully chosen well-known thought leaders in their fields to provide guidance and share business skills via a structured online mentorship program.
In Nigeria, mentors include:
· Dr. Ola Brown, founder of Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company – Africa’s leading healthcare and wellness sector investment firm – with previous leadership roles at the British National Health Service;
· Dr. Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, Managing Director of The Education Partnership Centre – Nigeria’s pioneer education partnership organization specializing in research, design, implementation, support and evaluation of education programs and initiatives across various sectors of the economy. Dr Modupe is also an Asia Global Fellow at the University of Hong Kong, and Executive Board Member for Human Capital Africa;
· Yemi Faseun, Chief Talent Officer of YF Talent Partners – HR consulting, leadership, and culture transformation firm. Yemi’s previous experience includes HR leadership positions at multinational telecoms services provider Etisalat, and at Globacom, the fastest growing telecommunication company in sub-Saharan Africa; and
· Gbenga Totoyi, Partner at Alan&Grant – the Lagos-based consultancy firm creating innovative HR & Enterprise solutions – and Group Head of Human Resources of Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc – a Nigerian Stock Exchange listed insurance company.
· Mobola Akingbala – Chief Marketing Officer at Hirefoster – a company that acquires, trains, and connects talented marketing professionals to companies who need their skills worldwide.
Fadl Al Tarzi, CEO of Nexford University, commented:
“Since day one we’ve had the vision that the world is evolving into a virtual grid, where qualified talent should have access to career opportunities regardless of their physical location. COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation by at least 5-10 years, today’s adoption of online education and remote working are making the virtual grid a reality. If you have connectivity and the right education you will have access to job opportunities regardless of your location.
In Nigeria, Nexford has pioneered programs connecting learners to employers with its successful cooperation with Sterling Bank. With 87% of global employers are facing skills gaps,over the coming decade the majority of global employers will have remote teams. These shifts are going to transform career prospects of learners in Nigeria and across the world. Mentorship through the ‘Global Grid’ initiative is going to help Nexford’s Nigerian learners get on this global grid and prepare them for future careers.”
Jennifer Bangoura, Director of Career Innovation at Nexford University, commented:
“We have been meticulous in selecting suitable mentors and inspiring thought leaders to drive the program and share their leadership experience and knowledge. It is a perfect complement to our existing offering, and we are delighted to announce it as we celebrate our third anniversary.”
The program coincides with the celebration of Nexford’s third anniversary. Co-founded in 2019 by CEO Fadl Al Tarzi, the online university has grown into a global platform connecting learners, regardless of age, gender or social class with global employers.
Nexford is committed to solving the world’s biggest employer challenge – skills – and bridging the gap between learners and employers. The Global Grid initiative complements Nexford’s continued global expansion, and its provision of US degree programs to global learners for social and economic mobility.
The newly launched initiative will add value to Nexford’s already strong community in Nigeria, where the university has been in successful cooperation with Sterling Bank, Nigeria’s largest commercial bank as part of its Nexford for Talent (N4T) program.
As part of the agreement, Sterling Bank underwrites students loans and provides learning scholarships and internships during studies, while in turn benefitting from access to graduates with skills specifically tailored to its corporate needs.
Since the program’s start, 209 of Sterling Bank’s employees have enrolled in Nexford degree programs, with 61 Sterling Bank MBA graduates as of January 2022.
The company’s strong Nigerian presence was recently strengthened by Dr. Obiageli “Oby” Ezekswesili, respected former World Bank Vice President and Nigerian Minister of Education, joining Nexford’s board of directors.
The first webinar of the global program taking place on 18th February will be offered by Filippino mentor Raymond Victorino – an HR Professional with previous leadership roles with Accenture, Samsung Electronics and Jollibee, and well-known speaker and leader in human resources management and employee experience. Raymon will speak on “Positioning Yourself for the Next Job Promotion”, during which he will offer insightful tips from an HR insider perspective, which can help learners take the lead in developing their professional careers.
Nexford will continue to grow its Global Grid initiative and expand its network of mentors throughout 2022.
WAEC 2023 Results: Impressive Pass Rates Amidst Examination Malpractice Concerns
The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has recently released the highly anticipated results for the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
As students and parents eagerly awaited the outcome, the examination body announced the results on Monday, shedding light on some noteworthy trends.
According to Patrick Areghan, the Head of Nigeria’s Office (HNO) of WAEC, 1,613,733 candidates sat for the 2023 examination. However, the joy of success was not without its challenges as the results of 262,803 candidates are currently being withheld due to reported cases of examination malpractice.
Amidst this concern, there is a glimmer of hope and celebration for a significant number of candidates. The pass rate witnessed a notable improvement with 1,361,608 candidates or 84.38 percent, achieving credit and above in a minimum of five subjects, irrespective of whether English Language or Mathematics was included.
Even more impressive, 1,287,920 candidates or 79.81 percent of the total candidates secured credits and above in a minimum of five subjects, including both English Language and Mathematics.
The increase in pass rates not only reflects the dedication and hard work of the candidates but also speaks to the effectiveness of educational institutions and teachers in preparing students for this critical examination.
It serves as a testament to the commitment of educators and students alike to strive for excellence in education.
Nevertheless, the issue of examination malpractice remains a significant concern that must be addressed head-on.
Nigerian Students in the UK Struggle as Tuition Fees Soar Amidst Exchange Rate Crisis
The value of the Nigerian currency has plummeted, leading to a significant increase in tuition fees for these students.
The recent move by the Central Bank of Nigeria to unify the nation’s foreign exchange rates has had a devastating impact on Nigerian students studying in the United Kingdom.
Following the floating of the naira at the Investors and Exporters’ Window, the value of the Nigerian currency has plummeted, leading to a significant increase in tuition fees for these students.
The sharp decline in the value of the naira has put immense pressure on many Nigerians studying in the UK, with some facing the possibility of dropping out due to financial constraints.
The United Kingdom has long been a preferred destination for Nigerian students seeking quality education abroad.
According to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency of the UK, a staggering 128,770 Nigerian students enrolled in UK universities between 2015 and 2022. These students contribute approximately £1.9 billion annually to the UK economy, highlighting their significant presence and impact.
However, the recent exchange rate crisis has disrupted the educational journey of many Nigerian students in the UK. The increase in tuition fees, estimated at around 60 percent, has created a tremendous financial burden for these students.
As the value of the naira continues to decline, students find themselves struggling to pay the balance of their tuition fees, jeopardizing their academic progress and future prospects.
Numerous students have expressed their distress and frustration over the situation. Adejoro Deborah, a Nigerian student in Manchester, highlighted the adverse effects of the policy, mentioning that her sibling had to forfeit her admission due to the unaffordable fees.
Also, some students had kept their tuition fees in their naira accounts, expecting a different exchange rate. However, with the drastic depreciation of the naira, they now face the challenge of finding additional funds to cover the increased fees.
The impact of the exchange rate crisis goes beyond financial difficulties. Some students have found themselves stranded as their access to university portals is withdrawn due to unpaid tuition fees. This not only prevents them from accessing important academic resources but also hinders their ability to attend classes, both online and in-person. The emotional toll of being shut out of their educational journey adds to the distress and uncertainty faced by these students.
Intending Nigerian students who planned to study in the UK are also deeply affected by the surge in exchange rates. The Proof of Funds (PoF) requirement, which demonstrates a student’s ability to cover tuition fees and living expenses, has become significantly more challenging to meet. The increased exchange rates have inflated the amount of money students need to demonstrate, leading to a surge in PoF requirements. This, in turn, has made the application process more difficult and has deterred potential students from pursuing their educational aspirations.
The Form A application process, designed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, was expected to provide a solution for students paying for services such as tuition fees. However, students have faced numerous challenges, including delayed processing by banks and the subsequent increase in fees due to fluctuating exchange rates. Many students are frustrated by the bureaucracy and the lack of prompt action in converting funds and paying their schools.
The situation calls for urgent intervention from the Nigerian government. Parents, education consultants, and concerned individuals are pleading with the government to address the foreign exchange crisis and provide relief for the affected students. The National Parents Teachers Association has appealed to the Federal Government to collaborate with parents and academics to find a solution to the problems plaguing the education sector. Urgent concessions are needed for students who initiated Form A requests before the implementation of the new exchange rate regime.
The plight of Nigerian students studying in the UK highlights the broader challenges posed by exchange rate fluctuations and their impact on education. It emphasizes the need for long-term strategies to mitigate the financial burden on students and ensure their uninterrupted educational journey. As the Nigerian government grapples with these issues, students and parents eagerly await a resolution that will alleviate their financial struggles and enable them to pursue their educational dreams.
Nigeria Extends Subsidies Removal to Professional Bodies, Shifting Financial Responsibility
Nigeria Announces End of Budgetary Funding for Professional Bodies and Councils, Shifting Financial Responsibility to Institutions
The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the extension of the subsidies removal policy to professional bodies and councils, starting from the 2024 budget.
The decision, outlined in a letter dated June 26, 2023, and signed by Ben Akabueze, signifies the government’s intention to discontinue budgetary funding for professional institutions, Investors King reports.
The letter highlighted that the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS), during its 13th meeting, reached a consensus to cease budgetary allocations to professional bodies and councils effective December 31, 2026.
Consequently, the letter served as official notice that the government would no longer provide financial provisions to these organizations, designating them as self-funded entities.
The communication further emphasized that starting from December 31, 2026, the respective institutions would assume full responsibility for their personnel, overhead, and capital expenditures. This shift in financial responsibility signals a significant change in the relationship between professional bodies and the government.
The decision to extend the subsidies removal policy to professional bodies comes shortly after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu eliminated subsidies on petroleum products and depegged the Nigerian Naira, allowing market forces to determine the nation’s exchange rate.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other multilateral financial institutions have long criticized Nigeria’s heavy subsidies burden, attributing it to various challenges faced by the nation despite ongoing efforts to address them.
According to the IMF, the removal of subsidies alone could result in Nigeria saving a substantial amount, estimated at up to N3.9 trillion in 2023.
The IMF further explained that redirecting such significant funds could be channeled into critical areas such as infrastructure development, healthcare, education, and more.
President Tinubu took a comprehensive approach, beginning with the removal of subsidies on education, followed by similar actions across various sectors.
His strategy, popularly known as the “willing buyer willing sellers” methodology, aimed to streamline government spending and encourage market-driven solutions.
As Nigeria moves toward the complete removal of subsidies and a greater reliance on market dynamics, professional bodies and councils must now navigate a new financial landscape. With the upcoming deadline in mind, these organizations must adapt their operational and financial strategies to ensure sustainable growth and meet their mandates effectively.
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