The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, FAS, has advocated Industry-Academic Exchange Programmes for those in academia.
This initiative according to her, will enable teaching staff of universities to acquire capacities and learn contemporary trends in relevant fields, thereby putting them in better stead as they groom students for industry roles.
Prof. Ogunsola made the advocacy while speaking at a meeting with a delegation of Consulate Officials from the Kingdom of Netherlands at the university’s Council Chamber on Tuesday, December 13, 2022.
The Dutch officials were in UNILAG for a consultative meeting with a view to harnessing details of the university’s contributions to the Higher Education Ecosystem in Nigeria as part of efforts to help bridge the knowledge gap between the classroom and industries.
The Vice-Chancellor who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development Services, Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa, noted that UNILAG boasts of a robust collaboration with different professional bodies across various disciplines majorly for accreditation purposes, periodic curriculum reviews, industrial exposure initiatives and scholarship opportunities for students.
She assured of the university’s readiness to scale up the existing relationship with various professional bodies with a view to fostering engagements with academic staff beyond research purposes.
While identifying the Nord Motors Vehicle Assembling Plant which was recently commissioned on the UNILAG campus and the Canon Imaging Laboratory donated by Canon as some of the numerous milestones of the Public-Private-Partnership efforts of UNILAG to expose students to industries, the Vice-Chancellor affirmed the university’s commitment towards creating an enabling environment for the generality of students to acquire skills, thrive and excel even beyond the scope of their course of studies.
She announced to the delight of the Dutch delegation, a recent report which confirms UNILAG students studying in institutions abroad as extremely innovative, a feat she attributed to the liberalized learning culture which UNILAG promotes and the unlimited internet access at strategic locations on campus which gives students the desired avenue to innovate, learn and create.
Other speakers at the meeting included Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics and Research, Professor Bola Oboh, Director, Office of International Relations, Partnerships and Prospects, Professor Ismail Ibrahim among others. They all gave more insights into the efforts and milestones being recorded in the promotion of Students’ Start-ups, collaborations with ivory towers across regions for knowledge expansion as well as handling of governmental/institutional policies as it affects tertiary education in Nigeria.
The meeting, according to the Dutch delegation, was precipitated by the Netherlands Government’s ongoing plans to refocus its partnerships and scholarship programmes with institutions in Nigeria.
Members of the team namely, Deputy Director, Social Development Department, Ministry of Foreign Affair, Siemon Tuinstra, Deputy Consul General/Head Economic Development, Leonie van der Stijl and Consular Affairs Officer, Temitayo Akinbiyi all decried the relegation of technical and vocational education in many institutions in Nigeria and Africa, a development which they said has led to an acute manpower shortage in specialized skills such as plumbing, carpentry, welding, metal fabrication among others.
They all assured of the Netherlands government’s readiness to collaborate with UNILAG and other tertiary institutions to promote entrepreneurship, support students to be self-reliant as well as create an educational system where graduates are fit for purpose and real-time problem solvers, efforts which are captured in the five-year plan of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola.
The Dutch team had earlier held a meeting session with Students’ representatives across faculties during which discussions centered around curriculum development, learning facilities, career prospects and acquisition of alternative skills by students.