On Wednesday, September 14, 2022, the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Nigeria and Università Di Pavia (UNIPV), Italy set into motion the implementation of their collaboration to facilitate cultural and educational exchanges between the two (2) universities via the Erasmus+ programme known as the EU-Africa Connect Jean Monnet Module Programme.
Following the successful execution of the programme, students of the two varsities in Lagos, Nigeria and Pavia, Italy are expected to have gained insights into the culture and values of the two nations.
Speaking at the project’s Inception Programme held at the Arthur Mbanefo Digital Research Centre (AMDRC), UNILAG, the Project coordinator who is a Professor of Economics at UNILAG, Olufemi Saibu briefed members of faculty and industry on the implementation process, and deliverables of the UNILAG-Jean Monnet Module Programme.
He explained that the programme which is scheduled to run for three years would feature stand-alone summer schools, training workshops, and conferences. His words, “the Programme will revolve around three pillars: teaching, policy research, and capacity building. Emphasis will be placed on research aimed at promoting enlightenment, awareness, and understanding of EU policy and systems, as well as capacity building to contribute to policy design and advocacy”.
Professor Saibu urged undergraduates of the University of Lagos and other recognised universities in Nigeria and other African countries, particularly those in 200 level or those with at least 6 semesters more before graduation who have little exposure and background in EU studies in their traditional academic program, to participate in the project.
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe, FAS, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics & Research), Professor Bolanle Oboh appreciated the European Commission for the opportunity to further prepare UNILAG students for global relevance.
Speaking on the research outlook of the programme, Professor Oboh expressed optimism that UNILAG would make positive and impressionable impact on not just its immediate community but the nation, Africa, and the entire world, through research discoveries made in the course of the EU-Africa Connect Project.
All scholars and industry specialists who spoke at the inception program called for a continuous synergy between town and gown. One of the speakers, former Acting Director General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Mr. Opeyemi Alaran posited that the actualisation of the synergy would be feasible if the academia provides stakeholders with swift and easy access to research findings.
The event was attended by dignitaries including the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development Services, UNILAG, Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa; Director, Research Management Office, UNILAG, Professor Gbenga Nubi; Director, International Relations, Partnerships and Prospects, UNILAG, Professor Ismail Ibraheem; Deputy Director, Academic Planning, Dr. Oluseye Akinfenwa; Deputy Dean, Student Affairs Division, Dr. Blessing Anyikwa; Dr. Maryam Quadri of Department of Political Science, UNILAG; Dr. Adetoro Banwo of the Confucius Institute, UNILAG; Acting Director, Research and Studies Department, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Dr. Efem N. Ubi; Deputy Director, International Development Partners, Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Bolaji Onimole; Project Coordinator at the University of Pavia, Italy, Professor Antonio Morone; and Project Officer, EACEA, European Commission, Jean-François Lahou, among others. Dr. Temilola Oluseyi of the Department of Chemistry, UNILAG moderated the panel session while Mr. Oluwaseun Ajidagba, Assistant Registrar, Office of Advancement, UNILAG was the event compere.
The UNILAG-Jean Monnet Module Programme which is an European Union (EU)-Africa Connect Project, aims to promote and enhance greater understanding of European culture, values and studies in the University of Lagos, as well as facilitate exchange programmes with students from partner universities.
Enquiries on the application procedure for the Programme should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org