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U.S. Mission, Fulbright scholars dwell on access to quality higher education in Nigeria

‘Improving the Quality of Higher Education: Stakeholders Engagement’ was the theme of the 15th annual Fulbright Alumni Association of Nigeria in partnership with the University of Lagos and the U.S. Mission’s support.
From left: LOC Chairperson, University of Lagos, Rosemary Danesi Ph.D; Counselor of Public Affairs U.S. Embassy Abuja, Adnan Siddiqi; Vice Chancellor University of Lagos, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola and President of the Fulbright Alumni Association of Nigeria, Prof. Adele Garkida at the opening of the Fulbright Program 18th Annual Conference held at the University of Lagos. Photo credit: U.S. Mission
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Scholars, policymakers and other stakeholders in Nigeria’s educational sector gathered in Lagos from April 27-28 for the 15th annual Fulbright Alumni Association of Nigeria conference focused on the theme “Improving the Quality of Higher Education: Stakeholders Engagement.”

Supported by the U.S. Mission, the conference organised in partnership with the University of Lagos, explored best practices in promoting access to quality education and strengthening human capital for inclusive economic growth and development in Nigeria.

Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Mission to Nigeria, Adnan Siddiqi, congratulated the Nigerian alumni of the Fulbright programme on their accomplishments and urged them to continue applying the skills and connections they developed in the United States to their professional pursuits to bolster educational development in Nigeria.

“Through the Fulbright programme, you cultivated long lasting friendships with students, scholars, and community leaders in the United States and worldwide and you returned to Nigeria to share your knowledge and ideas with your networks in Nigeria,” he added.

Siddiqi noted that the U.S. government is committed to supporting higher education in Nigeria through the Fulbright program by partnering with academic, research and cultural institutions across the country.

“International education exchanges benefit both our nations and peoples, boosting intellectual and cross-cultural capital. Through these academic exchanges, we contribute to high quality education, greater cultural ties, and mutual understanding between the U.S. and the people of Nigeria,” Siddiqi said.

Speakers including Prof. Bernard Van Wie of Washington State University, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, Vice Chancellor at the University of Lagos and Irene Erivwo, director of Strategic Planning and Development at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund discussed the importance of quality education in a nation’s development.

The Fulbright conference featured a series of events such as panel discussion on the conference theme, symposium on educational opportunities in the United States, U.S. foreign policy, arts exhibition, musical performances, networking and mentorship session for prospective Fulbright applicants, and an interactive session with undergraduate students on the role of youth in the democratic process.

The U.S. Mission has a longstanding commitment to supporting educational institutions and strengthening an education system that enables students to access quality education throughout Nigeria.

One of the U.S. government-sponsored academic exchanges is the Fulbright programme which provides opportunities for Nigerian university students and faculty members to engage in collaborative research in U.S. institutions across various academic fields.

No fewer than 31 Nigerian universities are affiliated with the U.S. Mission on the Fulbright programme. In recent years, Nigeria has received more than 30 scholarships annually for university scholars including PhD candidates to travel to U.S. universities to conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared global challenges. In addition, there are seven American Fulbright scholars who are currently teaching and conducting research in different universities across Nigeria.

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