The Olowu of Owu kingdom, Oba Saka Adelola Matemilola and a delegation have facilitated a strategic partnership with universities in America and United Kingdom for Nigerian universities and polytechnics towards the development of tertiary education in the country.
Oba Matemilola disclosed this on Saturday during a reception organised for him at his palace in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The monarch said, the delegation which included representatives of seven universities in Nigeria engaged the management of the foreign universities on how they could partner on student-exchange programmes, curriculum development and research for development, among others.
He said the partnership would not only benefit Nigerian students, but also the communities where these institutions are and Nigeria as a whole.
Oba Matemilola, a Professor of Applied Mathematics, listed the universities visited to include: University of Maryland, Clark Atlanta university, Rutgers university, Princeton university, Penn State university and IES-Abroad, Chicago.
According to him, the delegation sought partnership with the foreign universities on how they could raise funds for the establishment of training centres in Nigeria for Nigerian students.
He added that, the foreign universities would be partnering with Nigerian universities in areas such as energy, agriculture, data sciences, healthcare, art and culture, among others.
Oba Matemilola said, “We sought to create collaboration between some of our universities, not only in Ogun State, but also around the Western States of Nigeria with universities out there in the United States and the United Kingdom.
“We were able to visit six different institutions in the United States and they received us with warm welcome.
“They were willing to partner with us. We discussed on different areas where we can collaborate, not only in research work, but also in student-exchanges, faculty exchanges in developing co-curricular for their universities and our universities; and other areas where we can have mutual benefits between ourselves and themselves.
“We are also looking at areas where can co-raise funds that will benefit us and also benefit them, where can establish centres for additional trainings here in Nigeria.
“In all the engagements that we had, we realised that all these universities really expressed their intention and happiness to work with us in various areas, including energy, healthcare, art and culture, data sciences, as well as other areas.”
The monarch hinted that the partnership would be extended to other universities in the country through the establishment of a consortium of universities.
“Once we get going with these seven institutions, we will expand them to other universities and institutions that will also be interested in this.
“The universities expressed their intention to support us in teaching our students in sustainable development right from the undergraduate level and we will make effort to include sustainable development in our curriculum.
“This is something that will benefit not only all the faculty students, but also the whole of the communities where these institutions are and Nigeria as a whole”, Oba Matemilola.
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