FG Orders Shut Down of Universities Ahead General Elections
As the general elections draw closer, the Federal Government has announced that all Nigerian universities and inter-university centres will be closed between February 22, 2023 and March 14, 2023.
Investors King recalls that the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) had earlier demanded the closure of schools for students to vote in the forthcoming elections as some already registered at home during the last prolonged Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.
In a circular signed by the Deputy Executive Secretary, Administration, National Universities Commission (NUC), Mr Chris Maiyaki, dated February 3, Universities were directed to suspend academic activities for three weeks.
The NUC circular was sent to all Vice-Chancellors of universities and directors/chief executives of inter-university centres on the directive of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.
This decision, according to the federal government was to ensure the security of staff, students and properties of the academic institutions.
The notice titled– ‘Ministerial directive on the closure of all universities and inter-university centres during the upcoming 2023 general elections,’ urged all universities to comply with the vacation directive during the election period.
It read, “As Vice-Chancellors of all Universities and Directors Chief Executives of Inter-University Centres you are quite aware, the 2023 General Elections have been scheduled to hold on Saturday, 25th of February 2023, for the Presidential and National Assembly, and Saturday, 11th of March 2023 for Gubernatorial and State Assembly, respectively.
“In view of the foregoing and concerns expressed on the security of staff, students and properties of our respective institutions, the Honourable Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu has following extensive consultations with the relevant security agencies, directed that all Universities and Inter-University Centres be shut down and academic activities be suspended between 22nd February and 14th March 2023.
“Consequently, Vice-Chancellors, as well as Directors/Chief Executives of inter-university centres, are by this Circular requested to shut down their respective Institutions from Wednesday 22″ February 2023 to Tuesday 14″ March 2023.”
The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi had earlier called for the closure of tertiary institutions to allow over three million registered students exercise their franchise during the forthcoming elections.
Nigerian Students Studying in UK Reaches New High: What’s Driving This Trend?
According to official data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the number of Nigerian students studying in the United Kingdom (UK) rose to a record high of 44,195 in the 2021/2022 academic year. This represents an increase of 107.4% from the previous year.
With Nigeria ranking third behind China and India in the top ten international students list, experts attribute this growing trend to the UK’s intellectual capacity and its need for affordable labor to grow its economy.
Jennifer Oyelade, director at Transquisite Consulting, noted that UK universities get funding based on the performance of their students, which means that the more Nigerian students come and excel, the more money the universities receive.
Meanwhile, Adewale Adetona, co-founder at Menopays, argued that the UK sees attracting global talent as a significant way to further develop its economy.
The UK has become a global talent magnet by being a top study choice for Nigerian students. When compared to other countries, an analysis of Nigerian student enrollment data shows that the UK has a higher number of Nigerian students than the US, Canada, and Australia combined.
The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in 2020 created a lot of job vacancies at the middle and low levels of the economy, leading the country to focus its attention on other countries with large youth demographics, including India, Brazil, and Nigeria.
To attract these countries, the UK updated its International Education Strategy in 2021, which aims to increase the value of its education exports to £35 billion ($48 billion) and host at least 600,000 international students annually by 2030.
The strategy includes the Graduate route, which allows eligible students to stay in the UK to work or look for work for up to two years (three years if studying at the PhD level) after completing a degree in the UK. Other strategies include high potential individual visas, global talent visas, and scale-up visas.
Despite the slow growth in international student numbers in the past due to migration restrictive policies, the British government’s updated education strategy has resulted in achieving the minimum 600,000 target in 2021, as the total number of international students reached 605,130 and 679,970 in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
WAEC Launches Statistics Platform to Provide Student-Level Data on Academic Performance
West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has launched an educational statistics platform known as “EDUSTAT” to provide student-level data on performance.
EDUSTAT is reported to be borne out of the desire to provide stakeholders such as funding agencies, government institutions, researchers, administrators, and parents with a user-friendly reliable platform that provides educational insights.
The platform will provide researchers with a comprehensive and intuitive way to analyze and keep track of students’ performance which will be accessible to educators at all levels from teachers to school administrators, and policymakers.
Head of National Office (HNO), Patrick Areghan disclosed that the platform is designed for the public to leverage WAEC’s comprehensive and reliable database of over 50 million candidates who have been tested over the years. He added that the educational insights were collected from multiple sources and delivered in simplified graphs, summaries, and dashboards that would assist in enhancing decision-making.
While speaking at the unveiling of the platform in Lagos, Nigeria, he said, “The core benefit of the EDUSTAT by WAEC platform is to provide access to a comprehensive Interactive Web Report. Also, the platform offers detailed and smart statistical insights into the education and assessment dynamics, using historical and current data to provide detailed intelligence for stakeholders across the globe in a smart and easily accessible manner.
“One of the key features of this platform is its ability to analyze data in real-time. This means that educators can get immediate feedback on how their students are performing, enabling them to adjust their teaching strategies as needed. Additionally, the platform is designed to be user-friendly and customizable, allowing educators to tailor it to their specific needs and preferences.”
He further disclosed that EDUSTAT would be beneficial to institutions such as Universities, Polytechnics, and colleges of Education by accessing data on enrollment and academic performance of their students, as it would be helpful to spot areas where resources are needed to support students thereby improving their academic performance.
Investors King understands that this recent rollout of the educational statistics platform by WAEC will enable educators’ ease of work and access to student data by taking the edge off the manual access to data which will enhance quick decision-making and quality service delivery. Also, with analysis of real-time data, it will save time and cost, enabling educators to get immediate feedback on certain information needed.
Users of WAEC EDUSTAT can log on to the website to sign up, select parameters, select their preferred method of report generation (Summaries, Charts, Maps, Trends), make payments, download, and use the content for personal/official purposes.
WAEC is no doubt moving ahead with technological trends following its recent advancements in its operations as it seeks to deploy technology in all facets of its operations. Recall that last year October, as part of its efforts to meet the demands of the fast-changing world, the West African Examinations Council launched a digital certificate platform.
The platform involves mobile and web-based applications, designed, specifically, for candidates, individuals, institutions, and organizations, which be used to recover candidates’ forgotten/lost examination numbers. The rollout of the platform has also solved the problem of delay, doubt, and faking, as candidates can access and share their results at any time, and to any location around the globe.
Nigerians to Enjoy France Scholarship Grants For Masters Degree Without Proficiency in French
The Embassy of France in Nigeria has announced the launch of a new scholarship programme to bag a Masters degree in Computer science and related fields.
The scholarship opportunity is meant for Nigerians willing to study in a university in France for its 2023/2024 academic session, Investors King reports.
Proficiency in French language is not required to qualify for the scholarship grants.
According to the French Embassy’s public notice, the five grants will be awarded to qualified graduates to further their studies in courses related to Computer science.
The application is currently open and the deadline for the submission of application is April 16th, 2023.
The approved fields of study as specified on the application portal are: Computer Science, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Interaction and Optics, Image, Vision & Multimedia.
The French Embassy gave the eligibility requirements as follows:
- Have Nigerian nationality and reside in Nigeria
- Be up to 35 years old
- Hold a Bachelor’s degree or Higher National Diploma in science/engineering/technology
- Have completed National Service
- Be fully committed to take up a course of study in France for the academic year from September/October 2023/2024
- French proficiency is not a requirement for application
The following are the required documents:
- Copy of your international passport data page (valid for a minimum of two (2) years)
- Detailed CV
- Personal statement
- Bachelor’s diploma or equivalent
- Undergraduate transcript
- Recommendation letter from your university (not mandatory but strongly recommended)
The scholarship programme is funded by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, in partnership with the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research, while the implementation is carried out by the French Embassy and Campus France Nigeria.
Here is the link to Campus France Nigeria’s website for the application process–
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