By Martin Paul Abuja–
Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, has expressed the readiness of the university to collaborate with sister universities in areas of mutual interest.
A statement signed by NOUN’s Director of Media and Publicity, Ibrahim Sheme, stated Adamu gave the assurances while playing host to offi cials of the Open University of UK, who paid him a courtesy in Abuja.
Led by an Associate Professor in Development Policy and Practice Research of the UK University, Craig Walker, the team said they were at NOUN to explore areas of mutual interest with regards to research in religious tolerance and understanding.
Th e research, Walker state, would be funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
“Th e Open University of UK is very keen on forging a partnership with NOUN and we will welcome it if such opportunity is open to us,” said Dr.
Responding, Adamu assured the visitors of NOUN’s acceptance of the collaboration, but emphasized that the collaboration would be subject to the availability of a clear blueprint.
Stating that NOUN had provided lee way and had remained a role model to other Open Universities in Africa, Adamu added: “Aside South Africa, others in the East, Central and West Africa look up to NOUN to provide them with a model in terms of study materials, study centres, examination administration and students enrolment.
Th e VC added that in a bid to expand the presence of NOUN on the continent, the university would be opening study centres in the west coast of Africa, starting with Niger Republic.
“We just returned from Niger Republic where government offi cials indicated interest for us to come and establish a study centre.
We are trying to expand our study centres to Niger Republic, Benin Republic, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire (and) Burkina Faso until we establish study centres everywhere along that region of West Africa.
” Adamu disclosed that NOUN, as an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institution, was modeled after the Open University of the UK, operating with best practices of the ODL system.
On NOUN’s acceptance of the collaboration with the UK university, he said, “Th is is something that is very exciting to us and we have accepted the partnership.
“We have been receiving this kind of collaboration from other reputable universities abroad.
In the last one month, we received Morgan State University in the United States and the University of Sussex, UK.
“In this way we can always build linkages for improved academic activities.
We will be glad to provide whatever infrastructural facilities needed for this programme to survive so that Nigeria becomes a better place for us all.