Nigerians studying at the Bowie State University, State of Maryland, US, are exceptionally good students, some officials of the university, have said.
The officials told the correspondent of NAN that about 1,000 Nigerian students -100 international and 900 residents were studying at the university.
Dean of Graduate School of the university, Prof. Cosmas Nwokeafor, told NAN that Nigerians students were outstanding both in academics and in character.
“We have a very large number of Nigerian students here at Bowie State University; most of our Nigerian students are majoring in Computer Science and Organisational Communications and many other programmes.
“And Nigerians have actually performed very well and I can tell you because I’ve been in this university for 25 years.
“When you look at the list of performance, our students have been stellar students in all facets of our graduate programmes as well as the undergraduate too.
“In most areas, many of our students have completed their degree programmes here both the undergraduate and graduate, and have advanced in other major professional fields out there.
“Their character, my goodness, if I would speak about their character based on the ones that work very close with me, you can see the difference.
“When you meet Nigerian students, you can tell they are well-mannered, very humble, respectful and mindful of their business, which is of course their education.
“Among all, there might be one or two that do not actually portray what we expect of them but a majority has actually demonstrated excellence and that represents Nigeria very well.”
Nwokeafor said that many Nigerians who had completed their programmes in the university were medical doctors.
“Some are professional nursing practitioners and educators are out there are doing very well. A lot of our students on the undergraduate level that come from Nigeria are really doing so well.”
Robert Batten Senior Director, International Programmes at the university also spoke highly of Nigerian students in the 150-year-old university.
Batten said: “The first thing I know is about their work ethic; they are tirelessly committed to excellence.
“When they are hired for on-campus jobs, they show up early, they stay late, they ask for additional job duties; the employers on campus love these Nigerian students.”
He said that he had never had a problem with any of his Nigerian students as far as following the rules and regulations of their F-1 students’ visas was concerned.
“We also have a huge number of Nigerian students who either have permanent residence here in the United States or they have gotten their citizenship.
“But they may have been born in Nigeria or their parents were born in Nigeria and they (students) were born here as little children but raised as Nigerians.
“We have 1,000 of the total 5,600 we have here, the 100 being on students’ visa and the other 900 being permanent residents or citizens of the US.
“So I’m one of the individuals that call out names at graduation. So we get the list about two weeks ahead of time so we can start practicing the names.
“We don’t want to mispronounce anyone’s name as we say it over the microphone. Some of the names are a little bit challenging for us U.S. folk, so we practice.”
Mrs Amina Ayodeji-Ogundiran, a Human Resource Development Master student at the university, said “we are very family-oriented; we know ourselves here on campus irrespective of being in different departments.”
Ayodeji-Ogundiran, who is President of the Graduate Students Association and served on the Graduate Board at the university, said they were the second largest population after the Saudi Arabian students.
“As far as performance is concerned, I have not had to worry even in my leadership of the International Students Association for Nigerian students.
“In my department for example, we have a very good number of Nigerian students who are on 4.0 (CGPA) and who are doing very well academically; I’ve not seen any situation that has been overbore.
“And talking about the way they conduct themselves morally, we’ve not had any issue about a Nigerian student do something bad or not conducting himself or herself well.
“So I will say that it’s really been a good experience even as I’ve served them on that association and on the Graduate Board,” she said. (NAN)