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Brexit upheaval brings opportunity for African educators

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The influential magazine Foreign Policy published an article at the end of 2018 entitled

The Brexit Fueled Death of the British University 

A grim outlook for the British education sector at the start of the year has only got worse as the nation prepares for a “No Deal Brexit” and a long period of uncertainty around UK trade and immigration policies.

A joint letter sent by the heads of 150 UK universities to British Members of Parliament called a No Deal Brexit one of the “biggest threats ever” to British universities. The letter stated “vital research links will be compromised, from new cancer treatments to technologies combating climate change. The valuable exchange of students, staff and knowledge would be seriously damaged.”

British universities are now warning that international students, worth £26bn to the UK economy, will opt for countries such as the US, Canada and Australia instead. Already Australia has moved ahead of the UK as the second biggest destination for overseas students.

However, in a time of crisis for UK universities, opportunities could open up for African higher education institutions. While political developments like Brexit are putting up increased barriers to free global movement, the demand for international education and experience has never been higher.

A British Education in Africa

Since 2002 Rushmore Business School in Mauritius has offered British education in association with British universities from its base in Mauritius. The idea of a winning a British degree without the high cost of relocating and living in the UK proved popular with Mauritian students. Rushmore now offers over 60 programmes in collaboration with UK institutions, some up to PhD level.

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In an interview with AfricaLive.net

 

Dr Essoo announced plans to open new international Rushmore campus in East Africa and Europe.

Both moves would represent a significant reversal of the current trend in Mauritian education of attempting to build the country as an education hub and attract students from Africa and India to study on the island.

Future of Pan-African Education

A Mauritian higher education institution moving into East Africa could be a significant moment in the development of Pan-African internationalist education.

Dr Essoo outlined Rushmore’s development strategy by stating “We were the first institution to really look at this idea of the education hub, of developing Mauritius as a knowledge hub. The previous government started the education hub programme and this government has continued.

However, having looked at it we realised that we are maybe putting the cart before the horse. My personal opinion is that we have tried this education hub approach and it hasn’t worked very well. We attracted maybe 10 to 15% of our students from Africa and India.

I think our next step needs to be going physically to those markets and expanding there. We are working on that now, we call this the third stage of our development. The first stage was setting up initially, the second stage was building our campus here and consolidating what we had, and now the third stage is to go in to other markets and take our model there.

The plan is to have campuses in Mauritius, Eastern Africa, and Europe offering the same courses and offer students mobility between the three campuses. Students from Europe could spend some time in Africa and some time in Mauritius, and see three different cultures. We would then be a truly international school or University and students would get a truly international education.

In addition to Africa, a lot of Europeans, particularly from eastern Europe, study in the UK either for their full degree or for one term or one year through exchange programmes such as Erasmus.

We believe that with Brexit there is going to be an impact on education and on those students. We believe that we can go into those European markets and offer British education.”

The developments at Rushmore highlight the rapid changes the international education market is going through.

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Demand for international education has never been higher. However, the traditional education markets in the global north are fostering political environments increasingly hostile to internationalisation.

International higher education is now a $1.9 trillion global market and enrollments in higher education institutions are projected to grow by 200% by 2040. Total enrolment across the African continent will roughly triple from 7.4 million students to nearly 22 million by 2040.

Following the historic launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area

 

The continent must develop leaders with both a Pan-African and internationalist mindset. The expansion of institutions such as Rushmore Business School will be a significant catalyst in created an integrated African higher education sector able to attract partnerships with the leading British and international academics and teachers.

Rushmore Business School offers a wide range of programmes that address Africa’s future development needs, from engineering, business, hospitality and tourism through to aviation.

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Education

Oyo-State, sole ownership of LAUTECH matters arising – Why blame Ajimobi? | By Adeniyi Olowofela

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First and foremost, I congratulate Governors Seyi Makinde and Gboyega Oyetola on ceding LAUTECH to Oyo-State, the struggle earlier started by Governors Adebayo Alao- Akala and Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

It is on record that LAUTECH was established in the year 1990 and Osun State was created in 1991. However due to infancy of the institution by 1991 the two states Oyo and Osun agreed to continue joint ownership of the institution.

Don’t forget that Governor Abiola Ajimobi became Governor of Oyo-State first , in 2011. ( The ‘LAUTECH marriage” which has been sustained for 20 years).

How can late Ajimobi be the problem! of marriage of twenty years?

When Governors Akala and Oyinlola started the struggle, NUC joined in asset sharing before the completion of the dissolution. Governor Rauf Aregbesola came on board in Osun State and he was not going to let go LAUTECH joint investment of Oyo-State and Osun-State, in 2010. So stalemate, was created, the dissolution cannot be done!

When Senator Ajimobi became Governor in 2011 he met the stalemate and both Government decided to continue the joint ownership of the institution as established since 1991.

At the initial period of 2011-2013 Funding of the institution were being done religiously by the two states. Until 2014 when funding crisis started (the details which are well known with the institution and the Ministries of Education Oyo-State and Osun State).

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While commending Governors Makinde and Oyetola for the effort of sole ownership of LAUTECH by Oyo-State.

The ceding  to Oyo-State would have been impossible if Governor Oyetola did not accede.

May God forgive those who are always eager to blame Ajimobi for offence not committed!

Professor Adeniyi Olowofela.
Oyo-State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology. (June 2016- May 28, 2019.)

Commissioner representing, Oyo-State,
Federal Character Commission (July 2, 2020 till date)

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‘2021 budget will take care of LAUTECH funding’, says Makinde

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Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde  has declared that funding Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso (LAUTECH) would pose no difficulty for the State as it had been captured in the State’s 2021 budget.

Governor Makinde who said this while answering questions on a private radio station in Ibadan through telephone on Saturday morning also disclosed that the State has been taking full financial responsibility of the institution since the beginning of the year 2020.

The governor informed the radio audience that he went to meet the Osun State governor, Gboyega Oyetola recently and implored him to let other factors apart from politics reign on the issue of the institution and the fate of the students and their lecturers which informed the agreement to cede LAUTECH to Oyo State.

““when we came in, we said Oyo State will fund for January to July, and Osun for the other part, but for some reasons, when we came in we had to intervene and for this year 2020, Oyo State has been funding LAUTECH alone and we have appropriated enough money in the 2021 budget to continue doing this.

“Nothing is going to change. Of course, we have issues with how the University has been running in the past, we have to change it but it won’t matter where you come from, there won’t be Osun must go, it is a university, we have what it take to put LAUTECH where it used to be nationally and also put it on African and international ranking.

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“I went to my brother, Gboyega Oyetola and I spoke to him to let us keep ego aside, I explained to him that it is a universality and it should be universal and he saw reasons with me and we give God the glory. I remember my time at UNILAG, I did not even know where my lecturers hail from.

“Now the real work has start we have to ensure it is well funded and it contributes to the economy of Ogbomosho and Oyo State, I will be going to Ogbomosho to meet with the stakeholders very soon, however, I want to plead with the lecturers that there is no Osun forum, no Oyo forum,” the governor said.

On issues relating to assets, the governor said processes of distribution of assets of the institution was transparent, as it was valued and monitored by the Nigeria University Commission (NUC) and whatever in each of the two States belonged to the individual State while lecturers and students from each State would enjoy what they used to enjoy before the current situation.

The ceding of LAUTECH to Oyo State was announced on Friday morning to the appreciation of students of the university and parents who believed the action of the two governors of Oyo and Osun States were commendable, in relation to the future of the institution.

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Oyo govt. finally secures LAUTECH ownership

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The Seyi Makinde -led Oyo state government on Friday secured full ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso.

Before this development , the citadel of learning was jointly owned by Oyo and Osun states.

The National Universities Commission (NUC), through its Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed announced the transfer of the ownership of the institution to the Oyo State government at a press briefing in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

According to the Memorandum of Agreement signed, the Osun State government would take full ownership of the university’s College of Health Sciences in Osogbo.

Speaking further, the NUC Chief informed that the resolution was made as a way to resolve the lingering ownership crisis that rocked the university for several years.

He expressed optimism that the development would lay to rest the lingering ownership imbroglio rocking the university, disclosing that the owner states through their respective gaffers, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and his Osun State counterpart, Adegboyega Oyetola, signed a Memorandum of Agreement to ratify the position.

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