The Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria, Abdalla Adamu, has expressed the readiness of NOUN to collaborate with other universities in areas of mutual interest.
He spoke on Tuesday while playing host to officials of the Open University of UK who paid a courtesy call on him in Abuja.
Led by Craig Walker, an associate professor in Development Policy and Practice Research, the team was at the NOUN headquarters to explore areas of mutual interest with regards to research in religious tolerance and understanding, which would be funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, DFID.
“The Open University of UK is very keen on forging a partnership with NOUN and we will welcome it if such opportunity is open to us,” said Mr Craig.
Responding, Mr Adamu, a professor of Media and Cultural Communication, assured the visitors of NOUN’s acceptance of the collaboration, subject to the availability of a clear blueprint.
He said NOUN provides a role model to other open universities in Africa.
“Aside South Africa, others in the East, Central and West Africa look up to NOUN to provide them with a model in terms of study materials, study centres, examination administration and students enrolment,” he said.
Mr Adamu added that in a bid to expand the presence of NOUN on the continent, the university would be opening study centres in the west coast of Africa, starting with Niger Republic.
He said: “We just returned from Niger Republic where government officials indicated interest for us to come and establish a study centre.
“We are trying to expand our study centres to Niger Republic, Benin Republic, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire (and) Burkina Faso until we establish study centres everywhere along that region of West Africa.”
Mr Adamu disclosed that NOUN, as an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institution, was modelled after the Open University of the UK, operating with best practices of the ODL system.
On NOUN’s acceptance of the collaboration with the UK university, he said, “This is something that is very exciting to us and we have accepted the partnership.
“We have been receiving this kind of collaboration from other reputable universities abroad. In the last one month, we received Morgan State University in the United States and the University of Sussex, UK.
“In this way we can always build linkages for improved academic activities. We will be glad to provide whatever infrastructural facilities needed for this programme to survive so that Nigeria becomes a better place for us all.”