The leading globally focused University in Nigeria, Coal City University attained a phenomenal height on the 7th of September 2020 with the induction of 55 globally recognized scholars and fellows from the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, and South Africa.
The partnership which is geared towards positioning Coal City University as a model world-class university in Nigeria was virtually held. With the engagement of these top-notch international scholars, students can finally build up a complete intellectual arsenal that will enable them to compete on the world stage.
Commenting on the innovation, the Vice-Chancellor of Coal City University Professor Afam Icha-Ituma stated: “In line with Coal City University’s commitment to a robust learning environment, without barricades, our curriculum, pedagogy, research, service delivery, staff acquisition, student mobility, and experience, we recognise and value the strategic roles of international visiting scholars in our finer aspirations. The University is inducting 55 Visiting Professors and Fellows across the three faculties of the University for the 2020-2022 academic sessions. These highly accomplished and globally recognized scholars will collaborate with their CCU colleagues, on joint projects, research, teaching, integrating experiences, competencies, principles, and practices, primed on delivering outstanding learning experiences to students.”
Vice-Chancellor Coal City University
Remote learning to form part of the curriculum
Prof. Icha-Ituma added: “Transfer of knowledge can also take place ‘virtually’ through our virtual learning platform. As some of you are aware, since March 2020, Coal City University has been delivering online lectures on a university-wide scale to ensure that our students progress and graduate timely, depending on their level.
We are among the leading Universities in Nigeria that have robust online capabilities. The progress we have made in e-learning has officially put us ahead of many older universities and this has 3 been acknowledged widely in the country. With the diaspora networks, durable and fruitful alliances, scintillating currents, and circulation of knowledge, prospects of capacity building they engender, will undoubtedly support and strengthen the institution’s educational mission and vision. More importantly, with the number of academic staff with international background engaged by the University, Nigerian students will now be able to experience world-class education in Coal City University without going abroad to study.”
The virtual ceremony attracted eminent personality around the country like the Chancellor of Coal City University, Sir Chinedu Ani, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Professor Chinedu Nebo, Professor Chidi Onyia, members of the Governing Council and Strategic Advisory Board and many other dignitaries.
Visiting Scholars enthused with the collaboration
Professor Ikenna Uzuegbunam from Ohio University, US remarked: “The visiting scholars’ programme at Coal City University is a brilliant idea. As an entrepreneurial university, CCU realizes the importance of mobilizing critical talents at this early stage of the University’s development. I am amazed at the bold steps taken by the University leadership to mobilize renowned scholars from around the world to contribute to its development. I see this initiative as a bold attempt to reform university education in Nigeria. Having spent many years in the US higher education sector, I will draw on my experience and expertise to work with colleagues in my discipline at CCU to deliver courses that will enhance the subject knowledge and employability of CCU students. I am also looking forward to collaborating with academic staff on research programmes.”
Reflecting on the development, Professor Chinedu Nebo, the Pro-Chancellor of Coal City University and former Minister of Power, stated: “With the help of the African academics in the diaspora, special attention should be given to the development of professional courses, leading to professional certification and employability. The Visiting Fellows can act as facilitators of flagship programmes of Coal City University.
In attaining global competitiveness, the need for real-time development of the Africa Countries must always be on the front burner otherwise those who attain global competitiveness may end up facilitating the brain drain of skilled professionals from Africa. We are not trying to train people to be employed over the world and running away from Nigeria. We want Nigeria, Africa to be developed enough so that those who have now acquired global competitiveness would all have national relevance in accepting jobs over here.”
COAL CITY UNIVERSITY
Coal City’s Global Education Platform liken to Fifarisation
Professor Osita Ogbu, Former minister for National Planning and the keynote speaker at the occasion described the international partnership as akin to the dual football experience expressed by players for both their home team and international club. He explained: “So, in football, we recognize that you can migrate but you must be made available again to serve your country.
If we recognize that nations have rights over the talents of their nationals in football, why are we finding it difficult to accord equal recognition to intellectual power, talent, and skills of trained Africans who out of legitimate private concerns have transferred their human capital to the more advanced nations?
It’s a simple matter. In soccer, you acknowledged it, but when it came to intellects we remained silent. Thus, my concept of FIFARISATION. I used the word FIFA to derive the FIFARISATION concept in brain-drain. This concept proposes an international platform or structure and a set of rules that rewards specific countries in Africa or elsewhere whose brainpower and intellectual capital migrate to the more advanced countries whether on their own or induced to do so.” Professor Ogbu noted that there are lots of benefits in collaborating with academics in the diaspora in building the academic tradition in Coal City University as it will enable the Visiting Scholars address the moral burden of giving back to Africa and contributing to building a model world class university in Nigeria.
By Emaido Affia