Field Work in Nigeria

In October, Prof Parvati and Prof Ashley went to Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria to collect data on the state and nature of Higher Education in that country.  This research forms part of the IDEAS project as Nigeria is a case study country for the project.  Their aim was to build up an understanding of higher education in a very diverse and complex country and they met some wonderful and interesting people along the way.

Nigeria is a fascinating place with a long and rich history, higher education is multifaceted and one of the oldest independent universities in Africa, the University of Ibadan, is located in the country.  However, Nigeria has a host of institutions, from full universities to polytechnics and private institutions.  Despite the number of institutions, only about 30% of the 1.7 million applicants a year are awarded a place in Universities.  

Parvati and Ashley really enjoyed their time in Nigeria, they met a number of people and visited many universities and government offices.  From the National University Commission, to the Ministry of Education, the National Open University (NOUN) and the University of Lagos, a warm welcome was always extended to them.  They were invited to the National Bureau of Statistics launch of the National Educational Data and met the Deputy Director of Education and the Vice-Chancellor of NOUN.

As part of the visit, IDEAS had offered to conduct a workshop on Online and Blended Module Design.  This workshop was hosted by NOUN and facilitated by Ashley.  Despite a power failure in the afternoon and the loss of the air conditioners, the workshop was well received by the academics who attended it. 

The IDEAS team also had the privilege of a group meeting with the executive management of NOUN, where the project was discussed and the potential for an African dialog between NOUN and UNISA.  This Africa dialog will be a great impact for the project as two mega open distance learning institutions share experiences and expertise within their specific African Contexts.  The trip was a great experience and open the possibilities of further research and collaboration.    

 

Ashley Gunter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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