Nigeria is a country of about 140 million people: a rapidly growing country with an almost vibrant economy. The country has been plagued by corruption over the years. The social fabric was in a deplorable state, resulting in unimaginative rankings in the global index standards.
Education is vital to human existence; it is a tool that helps government, the private sector and informal entities. In order for Nigeria to progress as a country, we need quality and sound education. Over the years, the education system has fallen into disarray and our children’s futures are in jeopardy. Our founding fathers’ efforts to make Nigerian universities and colleges solid seem to have gone haywire.
The latest ranking of world universities places the first university in Nigeria – the University of Ife – in six thousand three hundred and thirty-four (6,334). Support seems to have been found in foreign education. Countries like: USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Finland, Japan etc have good education system. Acquiring an education abroad is expensive per se. The average tuition fees (Bsc) of some selected countries (excluding living expenses) for students are: US$8,000, UK £6,000, Singapore US$4,000, Malta US$20,000, Malaysia US$1,000, Ireland EUR6,000, Norway- free, Sweden free, Germany free, Denmark free, Finland free etc. These fees when converted to Naira are: Malaysia N130,000, UK N1,400,000, US N1,040,000, Malta N2,600,000 etc.
Free education – at all levels, is available in some countries in Europe – Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Germany. In Sweden, all levels of education are free. The Swedish system includes not only traditional universities, but also different types of teacher education, health education, technical education; etc. Funding for education is the responsibility of: central government, regional authorities and private stakeholders. All higher education institutions fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, with the exception of university sciences (Ministry of Agriculture). Higher education is divided into undergraduate studies (combined into a first degree) and postgraduate studies and research. There are 39 accredited universities in Sweden that offer structured courses. The English language is a form of study at some universities. Foreign students are allowed to work and study. Sweden has a turbulent economy with a very high per capita income. Nigerian students should seize this opportunity to study in Sweden.
In Finland, all higher education institutions come under the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs. Higher education in Norway is mainly provided at state institutions: universities, polytechnics, state polytechnics and art schools. The bachelor’s degree is completed after 3 years of study, the master’s degree after 2 years and the doctorate after 3 years. Education is free at all levels in Finland. Foreign students can study in English as some universities and colleges offer their courses in English. Students can work and study in Finland. There is no specific minimum wage because there are no laws about it.
There are four types of institutions offering higher education in Malaysia namely: Local Public Universities, International Universities, Private Universities and Over 500 Public Higher Education Institutions (PHEIS). The Systematic Education Group of Colleges operates eight private higher education institutions (PHEIS). . Systematic’s main goal is to train school leavers for their future careers in accounting, economics, computer science, marketing, management, banking, secretarial, and trade and industry. Systematic has produced world-class students in professional courses such as LCCI, ACCA, CIMA, ICSA, CIMA, ABE and CIM. A good reason why international students should study in Malaysia is that student card or permit holders are allowed to work while studying to supplement their livelihood. Students are allowed to work part-time for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Students have the opportunity to work in local companies, multinational companies and embassies. Multinational company job search depends on your previous qualifications and salary range from $1,500 to $2,500 per month. Students can easily find jobs at a local company: Salaries range from $800 to $1,500. Accommodation costs between US$65 and US$150 per month. The country is so affordable to live in. Many Nigerians are already studying in Malaysia for various programs.
Singapore has an education system similar to that of the UK. At the tertiary level, it has three universities and 7 other institutions affiliated with both local and foreign universities, and 4 technical colleges. Full-time university enrollment is around 40,000, of which 20,000 are women. Tuition fees for international students are typically 10% higher than Singapore students. Tuition fees depend on the discipline offered. Specialist disciplines such as medicine and dentistry cost more than natural sciences, humanities and law. Medicine costs between $8,500 and $10,000 per session: humanities, law, social sciences, etc. cost between $2,500 and $6,000 for the bachelor’s degree. The 4-year Polytechnic tuition ranges from $1,350 to $2,500. Singapore government subsidizes their higher education through the tuition scholarship. The tuition loan program contributes 75% to 80% of tuition fees, making higher education accessible to almost everyone. If you can’t afford to pay off your loan after graduation, you’ll have to work an extra year or two to pay off the balance. The economy of Singapore is so boisterous. It ranks 20th in the richest countries table with a per capita income of $24,500/year. Living in Singapore compares favorably to earned income; and it seems that higher education in Singapore is affordable for all able students.
Scholarships help students who want to study abroad to do so with less financial burden. Some examples are: British Council scholarship Schemes, Commonwealth scholarship and Fellowship Plan, Commonwealth Science Council, UNESCO, Ford Foundation, African Education Trust, The Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial scholarship etc. British Chevening Scholarships – funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office . They award scholarships in over 150 countries worldwide every year. This scholarship program offers fully funded Masters programs to talented graduates and young Nigerians. Chevening has produced over 800 Nigerian scholars since its inception. This number ranks the country first in sub-Saharan Africa. British Council scholarship Schemes – Nationals from some 70 countries are eligible for full study at postgraduate level through the British Council scholarship Scheme administered from its overseas offices. The scheme is promoted by the British Council in the countries where it operates. Details are available from the British Council offices. The Ford Foundation (IFP) International scholarship Program provides support for up to three years of formal graduate-level study. Fellows must be nationals of Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Chile, Peru, Russia and Vietnam.
Overseas certificates are valued very highly in the country. Most people get higher and higher positions when they come back to the country with their credentials. A friend of mine who works in a bank went to the UK for his MBA. He spent a year in the UK before coming back. When he came back, his bank promoted him and within two weeks he got another job (paying double his salary in his former office).
The dream of studying abroad can be realized with the right planning. With free schools in Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway, you can study for your PhD, MSC, MBA, Diploma, BSc, LLB etc. without paying for tuition. Your first step towards studying abroad is to get proper information: browse university sites, country sites, scholarship sites, etc. Get prospectuses from universities or colleges, look at courses and syllabuses. Get plenty of approvals before you decide.
Thanks to Chimere Ukoha Iroha | #Affordable #Education