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Embrace the Culture of Internationalization — Prof Gwarzo Urges Nigerian Varsities

President/Founder of Maryam Abacha American University of Niger (MAAUN) and the Franco-British International University (FBIU), Adamu Abubakar Gwarzo

The President and founder of Maryam Abacha American University of Niger (MAAUN) and the Franco-British International University (FBIU) conglomerate has urged Nigerian Universities, particularly those in the north, to embrace the culture of internationalization. 

Prof Gwarzo said Internationalization of education is critical since it is concerned with the transmission of universally applicable knowledge, ideas, skills, talents and values.

Prof A. A Gwarzo made this call during his speech at the convocation lecture and 10th Year Anniversary of Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State today 26 November, 2021.  

Prof Muhammad Sanusi Magaji Rano, the Dean of Postgraduate of Maryam Abacha American University of Niger, who represented the President of MAAUN, said; "However, I would like to encourage universities in Nigeria, particularly those in the north, to embrace the culture of internationalization. This is essential because internationalization has become increasingly crucial in Education, which has been equated to an enterprise creating a plethora of high-quality worldwide marketable goods and services in recent years. As a result, there is a need to develop an all-encompassing system that would fit the existing Education model in order to ensure that global standard practices are followed by the Nigerian educational institutions."

Prof Gwarzo, however, congratulate the management of Federal University Dutsin-Ma as it celebrates its 10th Year Anniversary. "This institution has made tremendous progress in a number of areas since its inception in the year 2011.It should be recalled that the Federal University, Dutsin-ma was established, alongside eight other Federal Universities, as part of the Federal Government of Nigeria's initiatives to strengthen the country's knowledge base and broaden access to quality education, which is a central issue in the establishment of educational institutions in Nigeria.

"The Federal University, Dutsin-ma, like several other universities, has been working to solve the issue of limited admission slots set aside for qualified university candidates in northern Nigeria and the country as a whole. This is a welcome development", he emphasized.  

Reiterating on Internationalization of education, Prof Gwarzo said "is critical since it is concerned with the transmission of universally applicable knowledge, ideas, skills, talents and values. It is a powerful tool for educational institutions to diversify their strategic goals. There is growing competition among the global higher education institutions to internationalize and Nigeria must not be left behind", he said.

He further stated that; "Universities, as you are all aware, are institutions with dual national and international features. While owners and investors, structures, and organizations are always national, the substance and knowledge conveyed are universal and worldwide".

He therefore, emphasized that higher education should benefits individuals and society in the following ways: "It creates competent and skilled manpower and career development.

It evolves and produces expertise through research and innovation. It produces equal opportunity and connect intellectuals of diverse academic background. It facilitates standards of education (through education and training)", he stressed. 

Prof Gwarzo further said that higher education also helps promote international collaboration, and strengthens global competitiveness. Saying the Federal University Dutsin-ma, like many other federal institutions in the country, has the potential to build worldwide connections and partnerships in order to develop a global presence in academia. "So I must disclose to you all here that Nigerian universities and other institutions of learning must collaborate with other regions of the globe to address global issues such as renewable energy, climate change, sustainable development and insecurity among other socio-economic challenges.

"Internationalization for research and teaching capability, as well as information transfer, is one strategy to address these problems.  In addition, recent educational reforms put in place by the federal government of Nigeria have boosted the capacity of university education in the country. So, in this regard, I am calling on all public and private institutions to embrace the modern trend of internationalization of universities and this should include the policies and procedures implemented by academic systems and organizations.

"Internationalization has resulted in the establishment of affiliated campuses, collaboration, partnerships, foreign student programs, English-medium programs and degrees, and other efforts. In the worldwide higher education context, efforts to monitor international projects and maintain quality are crucial", he said. 

He further stated that; "there is a difference between the developed and developing worlds in terms of the priority and value put on having more internationally aware personnel and students. According to a 2005 research conducted by the International Association of Universities (IAU), there is universal agreement that internationalization benefits higher education in significant ways. Finally, many advantages such as; financial support, routine staff and student exchange programs, international standard seminars, workshops, and conferences, open education resources, cross-campus research collaboration, and developing cooperation models where Nigerian academics can collaborate with their foreign world-class counterparts could be realized by beneficiaries' institutions as a result of internationalization".

He finally thanked the management of Federal University, Dutsin-ma for the cordial working relationship between the institution and Maryam Abacha American University Conglomerate; "and I would like to reiterate that I, as the President General of the Association of African Private Universities (AAPU), I will continue to support education in our great continent so as to ensure the attainment of quality education for all because Education was declared a basic human right for all people over sixty years ago, and this was enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights since 1948".

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