Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria has launched what it coined as “Internationalization Project” to collaborate with foreign partners in the promotion and advertisement of its distance learning degree programs across the United Kingdom and other European countries.
With this, it is expected that ABU Distance Learning Centre (DLC), having established itself as a leading institution in modern open distance and e-learning deliveries, will seek to attract foreign students and qualified Nigerians in the Diaspora.
In addition, it will seek to attract expatriates as online teachers, e-tutors, partnerships, and collaborations on digital pedagogy and research.
The initiative followed a feat recorded early this year when the University Distance Learning Centre (DLC) partnered with stakeholders in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attract eligible candidates for its e-learning academic programs.
The project was recently launched in London, where officials of the University led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kabiru Bala, held a series of high-level meetings with UK strategic partners at the Nigeria High Commission, London.
According to a statement by the Public Affairs Directorate of the University, the launch was on the strength of approval granted to the University by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to use all Nigerian Embassies and Mission offices around the world as information and resource centers.
While in London, there was a meeting between the University officials, and those of the Nigeria High Commission at which the internationalization initiative was discussed.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kabiru Bala, told the meeting that the new normal heralded by the COVID-19 had continued to push institutions to adapt to the fast-changing educational environment.
Prof. Bala stressed that ABU Distance Learning Centre, which was recently rated as the best in Nigeria by the National Universities Commission (NUC) on account of its quality assurance, remained the right vehicle to drive the initiative.
The Vice-Chancellor, who described the project as a “huge success”, expressed gratitude to the Nigeria High Commission for all the support, including the facilitation of the institution’s Distance Learning Centre Open Day in London designed to promote and showcase ABU distance learning degree programs.
Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola, applauded ABU’s pacesetting efforts and assured that the Commission would assist the University towards the realization of what he described as a “highly commendable initiative”.
In his remarks, the Director, Distance Learning Centre, at Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Mohammed Ibrahim Sule, gave an insight into the ABU model of distance education, available programs, and the quality assurance framework put in place.
The Deputy Director, Learner Supports and IT for the Centre, Dr. Usman Abubakar Zaria, and the Centre’s Finance Officer, Malam Yahaya Hussaini, were on the delegation to London for the project launch.