A report by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has confirmed a poor presence of foreign students and academic staff in Nigerian tertiary institutions, which, it said, has limited the global effect and recognition of Nigerian tertiary institutions.
The report which was unveiled in Abuja, on Thursday, indicated that survey conducted in August by JAMB Committee on Internationalisation of Nigerian tertiary institutions, confirmed that there were 1,856 foreign students out of 1,132,795 students in 194 institutions that was surveyed.
Similarly, it confirmed that there were 437 foreign academic staff from a total of 5,604 academic staff in 194 institutions. It further disclosed that foreign students constituted 0.18 percent in universities, 0.29 percent in polytechnics and 0.04 percent in the colleges of education.
It noted that the percentage of all foreign students in Nigeria’s tertiary education system as at the 2018/2019 session was 0.16 percent, while foreign academics was 0.008 percent. 1.64 percent, according to the survey, are in Polytechnics while 0.18 percent in the Colleges of Education.
Former INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, who was the chairman of the committee, said that findings of the survey was unimpressive, and an indication that teaching staff in Nigerian tertiary education system was largely dominated by Nigerian academics.
He insisted that Nigeria needs to develop a framework for internationalisation of its tertiary education system, which should include but limited to admissions process.
It however suggested that conscious efforts be made to promote Nigerian culture abroad through agencies such as the National Council for Arts and Culture(NCAC), National Orientation Agency (NOA) in order to woo more foreign interests in Nigeria education system.
Aside suggestion for improved safety and security of locals and foreigners in Nigeria, the committee asked Nigerian tertiary institutions to open offshore campuses for export of Nigerian education under a robust regulatory framework.
It thus appealed to relevant government agencies to disseminate information and provide links on tertiary education in Nigeria through global online and offline platforms that are visible to global audience.
It also asked for greater autonomy and flexibility to tertiary institutions, to admit foreign students in collaboration with JAMB, and also enter into partnerships with foreign institutions, and provide funding for internationalisation of education to enable institutions develop appropriate infrastructure.
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, in his remarks, appreciated the good works of the committee and assure them that the report won’t gather dust at the shelf but would be presented to JAMB governing board for further deliberations and appropriate actions.
He said: “We have selected 12 institutions across Nigeria where we have offered to assist them upgrade their hostel accommodations and other facilities in anticipation of influx of foreign students.”