By Folaranmi Ajayi
To increase access to quality education in Nigeria and produce graduates who have the skills and knowledge to meet the nation’s industrial and societal needs, Lancaster University, Ghana has opened in Lagos.
Speaking at the opening of the new office located at the Nigeria Institute of Architects Building, Victoria Island, Lagos, chief executive officer, Transnational Academic Group (TAG), Daniel Adkins, said Lancaster University, Ghana, was established to give opportunity to African students to acquire international degrees without travelling outside the continent.
He said TAG partnered with Lancaster University, Britain, to establish the campus in Ghana, and is looking at bring the top 200 universities in the world to places where others can also receive quality and world-class education.
Adkins said: “We felt it was important to bring top education to Africa to help address some of the challenges and develop human capital across the continent. Since we opened in 2013, we have had hundreds of graduates with degrees that have global recognition.
“We hope to develop human capital in Africa, particularly West Africa so that this area can experience accelerated growth. Most Nigerian students who study abroad, when they finish their university programmes, stay there. This is a brain drain. So, we want to make a change. We want to provide high-quality education so students can access it at affordable prices and hopefully stay in Africa and continue to contribute to the building and development of their society.
“Just from Nigeria, roughly 180, 000 students a year leave the country for overseas study and unfortunately, a greater percentage of them do not come back and apply what they learn to their own society. So, we felt it is important to develop capabilities within the West African region.
“If you’re going to study abroad at Lancaster University, for example, by the time you pay tuition fees, accommodation and food, you’re probably looking at about $40,000 or $45,000 a year. You can study at Lancaster University, Ghana for $9, 000 a year. You’re getting the same degree but at a fraction of the price.”
He said the university offers a British style education, which is student-centric, project and problem-focused, to prepare graduates that will venture into industries or start their own businesses.
According to him, students of the university in Ghana have access to the same materials and obtain the same degrees as their counterparts on the main campus in Britain.
He said as inflation and devaluation of currencies affect people across West Africa, they are currently offering scholarships up to 50 per cent to bring costs down to roughly $4500 per year, which can also be implemented, on a payment plan.
Christopher Pilgrim, chief strategy officer, discussed the partnership between the Transnational Academic Group and Lancaster University, Britain. He also talked about the programmes offered by the university and the group’s plan of setting up a TAG college in Nigeria to create an avenue for students to study abroad.
Pilgrim said the group would help those with financial means who want to study abroad gain admission to one of their many partner universities across the globe.
He said the firm is already delivering such programmes at Lancaster University in Ghana and with approval from the ministry of education; they will also start it in Lagos.
Students and staff of Jextoban College, Mate Comprehensive High School, The Apostle Grammar School, Jeco College, and Murtala Mohammed Secondary School were also in attendance.