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As ASUU strike lingers, Nexford university graduates over 400 Nigerians

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Destiny Young
Destiny Younghttp://linktr.ee/youngdestinya
Destiny Young is a highly credentialed information technology professional with over 14 years of industry experience. An HND/BSc (Hons) in Computer Science graduate. He holds a Master of Technology degree in Information Technology from the prestigious University of South Africa (UNISA). He is a Distinction-grade MBA alumnus of Nexford University, Washington, DC, where he also obtained a First-class MSc degree in Digital Transformation. His professional development direction is in Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, and Business Intelligence. He is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria (CIA), the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), etc.

Though the university said it does not think of itself as a beneficiary of the ongoing prolonged ASUU strike, it acknowledged enrollment growth during the strike.

More than 400 Nigerian students have graduated from Nexford University (NXU), an American online university, for the 2021 to 2022 session.

The online university according to the Country Director, Olamidun Majekodunmi-Ogundoyin, was launched in the country in 2019 and has since enrolled over 3,000 learners in Nigeria.

Though the university said it does not think of itself as a beneficiary of the ongoing prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), it acknowledged that it recorded significant growth in applications during the strike.

In her remarks Saturday at a graduation ceremony held at Oriental Hotel, Lagos, Mrs Ogundoyin noted that the American university has partnered with over 50 organisations, graduated over 600 alumni and enrolled about 700 full or partial scholarship recipients.

She said: “Today’s event is extremely exciting. It marks a milestone in the brand and the education system in Nigeria. It means several things.

“One, the fact that we can allow and admit several students ranging in the 1000s to enter and enrol into an online programme that’s very unconventional and very non-traditional.

“Here in Nigeria. We’re graduating over 400 students today and we’ve enrolled over 3000 in Nigeria alone. It says something for the future of education right here in Nigeria.”

Regarding affordability, the online university noted on its official website that students can pay tuition monthly, $90 per month for a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), and $180 per month for a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Abah, others speak

In his keynote address, the Country Director of DAI, an international development organisation, Joe Abah, urged the graduates to keep learning to acquire more skills to give them better chances with employers.

“So the higher the degree you have, the better the chances you have, unfortunately, the world is just wired that way, so do give yourself as much of a chance as you can,” he said.

Also speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Metro Africa Xpress (MAX.ng), Adetayo Bamiduro, who is an alumnus of Nexford University, advised the graduates to leverage the knowledge acquired to create value in society.

“It’s about leveraging this knowledge, this experience, to create real meaningful value to ourselves and the society at large,” he noted.

NXU duration

Mrs Majekodunmi-Ogundoyin explained that the duration of the NXU programme depends on the students and that it compares to traditional universities. She said its bachelor’s degree runs for three years.

She said: “So the Nexford degree that you’re earning is in your own hands so you have the ability to scale as fast or as slow as you want to.

“On average, our bachelor’s degree takes about three years to complete compared to traditional universities

“And for the master’s programme, that’s the Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), you can finish it in about 18 months on average but then again, some people finish in less time 12 to 14 months, while others finish a little later if they are working or doing other things at the same time.”

Speaking on the university system and how it benefits students, its Founder and Executive Director, Fadl AlTarzi, said the system has been structured to equip students with the right skills to meet the expectations of employers.

He said: “You know, the world is moving virtual, it’s a global grid right now. If you’re on the grid, you would be able to access career opportunities by equipping yourself with the skills that you need.

“Employers in the US, the UK, Australia, and all over the world are looking for talents like we have in Nigeria because there’s a shortage of talent in other markets.

“There’s an abundance of talent here. What they need are the right skills to move forward. So you’re no longer limited by your physical location today.

On the admission process, he said: “We have a simple admission process. That’s fair and equitable. Anyone that applies to Nexford will get a decision within two-three days.

“You need to have prior education and a minimum level of English proficiency to equip yourself to succeed at Nexford.

How ASUU strike contributes to growth

The university management said while it does not derive joy in the ongoing industrial action by university lecturers, it has recorded significant enrollment growth during the strike.

“You know, we’ve been growing every year, we’ve been doubling and tripling our student base every year, ASUU strike definitely contributed to growth as well, but we’ve been growing prestrike and we will continue growing post strike.

“Well we don’t think of ourselves as beneficiaries of this strike, you know, the strike harms students all across Nigeria and that’s not in the interest of our sector,” Mrs Majekodunmi-Ogundoyin.

She gave an example of a student who joined Nexford after spending two years in a Nigerian public university.

When asked about Nexford’s relationship with the Nigerian Ministry of Education, both the CEO and Country Director said there is no formal collaboration with the Ministry.

As an American University, they explained that they are licensed and accredited in the US and UK, so being an online university has “allowed Nexford to be accessible for any learner all around the world.”

Mr Abah also decried the ongoing ASUU strike, noting that the strike is damaging to the Nigerian education system and the young people.

“It affects their progress and their career. And it’s totally unfair on the students,” he said.

From OAU to Nexford

In an interview with one of the first-class MBA graduands, Tosin Nathaniel-Luz who had her first degree in Law from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), said the programme at NXU took to her to a “greater level” because she is now more equipped with digital skills as the courses were more practical than theory.

“Initially I had the mindset that it’s just an online school that shouldn’t take so much for me but sincerely, I was shocked because it was quite overwhelming and I learned a lot, it’s way more than the usual theory, it was practical.

“I did a lot of self-learning, I learned how to use a lot of new tools, online tools, different applications, and, we took an examination online, and the examination was supervised, yes, an online examination where you can’t even do examination malpractice because the computer is watching you.

She also noted that her interest in business made her apply for the NXU MBA programme and she studied more than at OAU, where she graduated with a second-class upper grade.

“I’ve always been business-minded throughout school, and I still graduated with a 2.1 CGPA, but I did way much more at NXU and came out with a 4.0 CGPA.

“And I think that that’s an achievement and I’m very proud of myself because I didn’t feel it was doable,” she said.

Speaking on the duration of the MBA programme, she said she spent two years due to other engagements and confirmed that the tuition is monthly.

“I spent two years actually from 2020 to 2022 because I took some breaks, but I know of some colleagues that said they finished in six months.

“You can go at your pace and it’s a monthly payment, you’re not pressured into paying all at once.”

In his comment, the Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, commended the university for giving Nigerian students an alternative to earning degrees.

“I can see a bright future for Nexford, I was expecting it to be more of a conservative programme but to my surprise, I see a lot of graduates, I see that the future is bright for Nexford University.

“Most especially enjoy the fact that they mix Tech in education, which is the future, as we all know ASUU has been on strike for months without end and the state governments would urge them to end the strike but with this platform, there’s a way out for students for tertiary education,” he said.

Destiny Young
Destiny Young is a highly credentialed information technology professional with over 14 years of industry experience. An HND/BSc (Hons) in Computer Science graduate. He holds a Master of Technology degree in Information Technology from the prestigious University of South Africa (UNISA). He is a Distinction-grade MBA alumnus of Nexford University, Washington, DC, where he also obtained a First-class MSc degree in Digital Transformation. His professional development direction is in Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, and Business Intelligence. He is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria (CIA), the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), etc.
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