Monday, 9 November 2009

Study Group plans big for Nigeria, Ghana

STUDY Group, United Kingdom’s largest independent supplier of international students to universities in Britain, has announced the launch of a programme, which will see four of its Bellerbys Further Education Colleges, twinned with institutions in Nigeria and Ghana. The new initiative will enable an exchange agreement in which students and teachers will be given the opportunity to visit and work at their international partner colleges.
Currently, about 80 per cent of Nigerian school leavers have the desire to study in the UK, with 29,109 applications for UK study visas made in 2008. However, only 28 per cent of applications were granted visa by the UK Border Agency. Study Group’s new partnerships will enable more of these students to fulfill their academic ambitions.
James Pitman, Managing Director of Study Group said they are delighted to offer a twinning programme with schools in Africa, which will greatly benefit the academic and student community. “By forging stronger links with colleges in Nigeria and Ghana, students and staff will be able to gain a better insight into each other’s cultures and ways of working. It is just this type of international dimension that places the British education system among the best in the world.”
The programme will see Bellerbys Cambridge twinned with the Zamani College in Nigeria and Achimota School in Ghana. London Bellerbys will be paired with Danbo International College in Kaduna while Bellerbys Oxford will be twinned with Livingspring International School in Nigeria.
John Ogungbero, Principal, Danbo International School said: “I believe that this programme initiated by Study Group, will go a long way in fostering a good relationship between Danbo and Bellerbys, and we look forward to more contacts. It has been an excellent opportunity for students, both on an academic and cultural level.”
Key subjects to be taught at the twin centres include Mathematics and Chemistry. John McDarby, who teaches Maths at Bellerbys London, went to Danbo International School in Kaduna as part of the scheme. He said: “This was my first ever visit to Africa and a truly special experience that I will never forget. As well as teaching students, I also spent a lot of time with the Maths teachers of Danbo College, sharing ideas about teaching and learning about Maths education in Nigeria. I believe that this is an exciting new project initiated by Study Group, which has opened limitless new streams for academic learning. It is also a great opportunity for a broader cultural exchange between the two countries that will reiterate our academic gold standard while benefiting African students in the process.”

New SUG president emerges at RIVCOHSTECH
GODSWELL Binyen, a-200 level Environmental Health Technology student of the Rivers State College of Health Science and Technology (RIVCOHSTECH), has emerged president of the Student Union Government (SUG) of the institution after a keenly contested election on Thursday, October 29, 2009.
Polling 399 votes out of the total votes cast, Binyen came ahead of Goodnews Opurum, 200 level Health Information Management, and Chukwundah Mac-Charlie, 200 level Community Health, who polled 326 and 281 votes respectively.
Speaking after the elections, Provost of the institution, Dr. Nnanna Vincent Onyekwere congratulated Binyen and other contestants for losing gallantly, saying he was satisfied with the quality of the election.
Decrying the imposition of candidates by the authorities of tertiary institutions, Onyekwere said such actions create unnecessary problems for the institution and urged election officials to be forthright and resist the temptation to favour one candidate against others.
He expressed optimism that elections could be free and fair where there is no interference by the authorities and attributed the peaceful nature of the elections to the non-partisan posture of the management. “The electorate are the most important people in an election,” the don said while calling on the authorities of tertiary institutions to “stand on the truth as the only thing that will take away tensions.”
Addressing the students after the results were announced, Dean, Students Affairs (DSA) of the institution, Chief Adolphus Ukachukwu, commended the students for conducting themselves properly during the voting process and the election officials for ensuring the success of the election.
Ozuzu Uwitetu Faith was elected Vice President with 421 votes ahead of Akaya Ajulachi Lilian and Kitoye Fabia, who respectively polled 315 and 242. Amadi Kingsley was returned unopposed as General Assistant while Owate Chujor Juliet clinched the post of Assistant General Secretary.
Akani Ikechukwu was returned unopposed as Financial Secretary alongside John Boma Strongface (Treasurer). Other officials are Amadi Richard (Director of Welfare), Romeo Minini (Public Relations Officer), Echem Chivueze (Director of Transport), Bennett Emughibula (Director of Sports), Owo Dickson Owoh (Director of Socials) and Nwuche Mbuchi (Provost).

Industrial unrest looms in varsities

• As NASU, SSANU, NAAT threaten strike

INDICATIONS emerged on Thursday that members of the Non-Academic Staff of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), and their National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) counterpart, may resume their suspended strike over inability to reach agreement with government.
The trio had three weeks ago suspended their industrial action along with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which shut down academic activities and operations at the nation’s public universities,
This latest development has raised fears of another disruption of academic activities in the ivory towers less than three weeks that students returned to campuses.
General Secretary of NASU, Comrade Peters Adeyemi, told newsmen that there are indications that members and the other two unions could resume the suspended strike.
He blamed the development on the inability to reach agreement with government and reiterated the union’s argument that the issue was not all about emoluments, but funding of the university system, failing and decaying infrastructure, among others.
Some of the contentious issues before the two weeks suspension of the strike, Adeyemi said were “what are the reasons for the award of 20 per cent wage increase to us, 20 per cent increase to another and 40 per cent to another of our colleagues? If they are telling us that our members are essentially junior staff, which is not true, because registrars, bursars and the rest are not junior staff.”

Lions, Lionesses back in the jungle
WITH the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike over, the country’s universities are now wearing that atmosphere that citadel of learning in the world over is known for — seriousness mixed with fun. The University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka is not different.
The students, who are popularly referred to as lions and lionesses, are now back in school and catching the fun that was missed out in almost four months of academic stalemate.
Not only are many of them reeling out stories of how they enjoyed their ASUU break, some are even showing off in terms of new acquisitions.
The people who are, however, enjoying this return to campus are those engaged in one business or the other on campus, especially the shuttle drivers. They are smiling to the banks once again after being out of business for almost four months as students return en-mass.
Lectures resumed in earnest on Monday, October 26, with students and lecturers having busy schedules as the teachers are working hard to cover for lost grounds.
This is to ensure that syllabuses are covered before December 19 deadline, when every lecture is supposed to end for the semester. This, also, is to enable the students prepare for examination, which is scheduled to commence from January 11, 2010.
The commissioning of the Digital Library, the first of its kind and the biggest in West Africa, has brought so much excitement to the school environment as students can now have easy access to information.
That’s not all; the school authorities are making headway at completing the students’ complex and the putting up of a new building for the department of Sociology/Anthropology as well as the refectory.
The euphoric moment was almost terminated by the rumour that the new Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bartholomew Okolo, had proposed about 57 per cent tuition fee increment by next academic session, but the Students’ Union Government has since refuted this.


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