IIE Networker - Fall 2008 - (Page 31)

Knowledge Network Country Profile: Nigeria Internationalization Activities in Nigerian Universities By Munzali Jibril and Abdulkarim Obaje An Overview of the System The Nigerian higher education system is one of the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa with an enrollment of some 1.4 million and a well-developed and well-trained senior faculty. The Nigerian higher education system, as of 2008, consists of 311 institutions: 92 universities, 57 polytechnics, 90 specialized colleges and monotechnics, and 72 colleges of education. The universities, however, remain the dominant players in internationalization activities. Most of the universities explicitly state in their mission statement that they are, or wish to be, part of a global set of institutions or have as their goal the development of expertise and human capital beyond the borders of Nigeria. They recognize themselves as part of a global network of institutions. The emerging trend in most Nigerian universities is the establishment of coordinating offices for international activities to promote internationalization activities of the universities. These offices are generally known as the University Advancement Centre or Development and Linkage Office. In spite of the considerable spread of this revolution among the universities, there is no university system-wide central coordinating mechanism that promotes information sharing and capacity building. As the number of institutions with these advancement centers increases, stakeholders increasingly feel the need for such a body. Nigerian students at Bayero University. At the institutional level, the benefits of internationalization activities are enormous, potentially yielding significant improvements in access to higher education, quality of teaching and expanded research opportunities, and therefore raising the university’s profile in global rankings. Most of these linkages and collaboration are driven by resources obtained from foreign sources. The major risk associated with internationalization activities is that foreign assistance is only available for limited periods. After funding runs out, local resources and initiatives must achieve sustainability. training of faculty. At Bayero University in Kano, the grants made by the MacArthur Foundation between February 2000 and December 2004 totaled $5,420,000 and were applied to faculty capacity building and development, ICT provision and expansion and the provision of laboratory equipment. This helped the University emerge at the top of the accreditation league table in 2006. Vice Chancellors’ Study Visits The National Universities Commission (NUC), in conjunction with the American embassy in Nigeria, has been facilitating an annual study visit by groups of newly appointed vice chancellors of Nigerian federal universities to the United States since around 1989. During such visits, funded by the universities, the vice chancellors are taken to selected American universities and addressed by university presidents Funding Sources and Budget Most internationalization activities are funded through donor grants and special projects. As a result, the dramatic fall in university funding has a severely constrained capacity to fund internationalization activities. International Donor Support Over the last eight years, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has been very active in four Nigerian universities, supporting the modernization and upgrading of academic facilities and the

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2008

IIE Networker - Fall 2008
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
The International Dimension of Higher Education: Status, Challenges, and Prospects in Africa
Internationalization in Africa In Relation to Other World Regions
Measuring International Student Mobility Trends: In and Out of Africa
IIENetworker University President’s Interview Series A Conversation with President Mohammad H. Qayoumi, California State University, East Bay
Country Profile: Nigeria
Scholars & Research
Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative
Joint Degree Programs
Advising Students
Study Abroad
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Fall 2008