A connected Commonwealth symposium: the prospects and opportunities for Nigeria

A group photo of all attendants

A group photo of all attendants

Organised by Professor Joseph Adeola Fuwape, Vice-Chancellor, the Federal University of Technology, Akure (1991 Academic Fellow from Nigeria, Forestry, Bangor University)

The Federal University of Technology, Akure celebrated the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth and this year’s theme, ‘A Connected Commonwealth’, with a symposium titled ‘A connected Commonwealth: the prospect and opportunities for Nigeria’. The programme commenced with introduction of guests after which the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Professor Joseph Adeola Fuwape delivered the welcome address. Thereafter, he read the speech prepared by the Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows Alumni Association Nigeria (COSFAN) President. The programme featured lectures and open discussion anchored by eminent Professors and Commonwealth Alumni. The event was organised in conjunction with the Director of the Centre for Research and Development, Professor Ganiyu Oboh, and was attended by Commonwealth Alumni, university directors and academic staff from Federal University of Technology, Akure and neighbouring institutions.

The first lecture ‘A connected Commonwealth: the prospects and opportunities for the Nigerian tertiary education system’ was delivered by alumnus Professor A. O. Fagbenro. He discussed the prospects and opportunities available through Commonwealth Scholarships.

This was followed by a lecture on ‘Education and the challenges of underfunding: the way forward’, delivered by Professor P. A. Aborisade (2007 Academic Fellow, English for Academic Purposes, University of Sussex). In his lecture he discussed the challenges facing the education system in Nigeria due to underfunding. He noted that UNESCO recommend 26% of budgetary allocation for developing countries should be towards their educational sector. In contrast, Nigeria has only allocated 5 – 7.5%. Having stated some of the challenges, he suggested ways forward, which included university re-strategising and renegotiating its staffing, distance learning, and partnering as a way of marketing research products.

An open discussion session followed both lectures, moderated by Professor A. A. Akindahunsi, Director of University Advancement Centre, Federal University of Technology, Akure. Immediately after the discussion, the Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows Alumni Association Nigeria (COSFAN) FUTA Chapter was inaugurated by Professor Joseph Adeola Fuwape.

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