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Nigerian students facing discrimination abroad —NUC boss

THE Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, has lamented discriminations meted out to some Nigerian students studying in some foreign countries, confirming that the commission is now being inundated with requests from students abroad to transfer home to Nigerian universities.

He disclosed that the request to transfer home was further heightened by the scarcity of the Foreign Exchange.

Okojie, who spoke during  an interactive session with newsmen at the weekend, in Abuja, cited an instance of a Nigerian student abroad that was killed when he was thrown from a seventh floor.

He said some parents and students had also come to the realisation that some universities abroad which their children were attending were substandard in some cases offering unapproved programmes that their certificates would not be tenable in Nigeria.

He said: “It is not only the cost of school fees alone, but also the quality of the programmes. Some of these courses are not approved. And some of them know that the institutions they are attending are not approved.

“Yes, our children are coming back. Some of the private universities they attend are not even approved, some of them in Ghana. Lots of parents have been spending money on school fees. Parents have been coming to me to ask for transfer for their children from all over the world.

“And Nigerian students are falling victim of discrimination; there was a case where a Nigerian student who was thrown from the seventh floor. Even the laws are not friendly in some countries like South Africa and India. The attraction of working outside the country by our lecturers has reduced,” he said.

The NUC boss, urged tertiary institutions in the country to look inward in order to generate income, saying old students and other stakeholders could also donate to the institutions.

“If we are waiting every year for government to fund universities, we can’t get anywhere. There is the need to look inward. This would help in our research work. We want to appeal to our people to help our institutions, in United Kingdom and other developed nations, people donate to their alma mater,” he said.

Speaking on the rejection of law degree graduates of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) by the Nigerian Law School, Okojie explained that the Commission has stopped fresh admissions into the programme until the issues involved were resolved.