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How we facilitate Poly Ibadan, Blake Hall partnership –Siegener Sabithos boss
The Blake Hall College London/Business School will open for operations in The Polytechnic Ibadan, in September this year. Ruth Olurounbi and Doyin Adeoye bring the report of a chat with the CEO of Seigener Sabithos and consultant to The Polytechnic of Ibadan, Mr Tunde Anifowose, who said that bringing the international school to Nigeria, was aimed at restoring the lost glory of the nation’s education. Excerpts.
FOR those who have been yearning for an international degree and do not have the time or the means to travel out of the country to get it, they may rest easy now as an international college, the Blake Hall College London Business School, has been brought to their doorsteps.
In September this year, the school will begin operations with an Executive Development Programme in Creative and Innovative Leadership, which is especially designed for leaders, high flier managers, government officials and people in top positions. That doesn’t mean, according to Anifowose, that other non-top government officials could not enrol in the school. They could, as long as they are not undergraduates.
The initial aim according to Anifowose, was to bridge the gap between the HND graduates and the university graduates in Nigeria with a “top-up” degree from the UK, but for lots of brick walls experienced up till now. That, in addition to a current lack of approval to go ahead with the degree programme, saw the executive development programmes starting off in September, 2012. But Anifowose assured that as soon as the approvals were received, the top-up degree would start in the Blake Hall College faculty in The Polytechnic, Ibadan.
“Our initial goal was to introduce one year top-up degree for the HND graduates but now we are working on several approvals. By the time these approvals, both in Nigeria and the UK, are put in place, we can then start the programme in due course. That is our goal and we are going to achieve it by the grace of God,” he said, adding that “the HND holders will, through this programme, stand a better chance at competing favourably with their university counterparts,” he said.
Anifowose said Siegner Sabithos’s, partnership with the Polytecnic Ibadan, was aimed at bringing foreign education to the doorsteps of Nigerians so that the “people can access executive development training, top up degrees, we are looking to do that one, a year top up degree for HND graduates.”
He continued that, “we know about the discrimination that the HND graduates have been experiencing in Nigeria.
We have done extensive research on this in the last three years and as such, we want to bridge the gap between the HND graduates and university graduates in Nigeria. We are bringing the program to help them to compete favourably with their counterparts, more so that their degree is coming from the UK. That's part of our plan. And again, we are going to have post-graduate degrees, all from UK. We are going to have foreign lecturers coming from all over the world to lecture the students and we are going to have our own faculty and building situated in the polytechnic.
“We are trying to create values despite so many confusion in the education sector of Nigeria. We are trying to create a respite for those who wish to study abroad but cannot go there for one reason or the other. We are going to start with executive programmes which will feature leadership and innovation programmes, for leaders, high flier managers and government officials and people in top positions. We are going to give them business, executive and leadership training and that is the first time we are having such in Nigeria. This programme has been approved by Edexcel in the UK and Edexcel is approved all over the world.”
The Blake Hall College was founded in 2001. In 2004, it was accredited by the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education (BAC) and in 2010, it became a partner of Glyndwr University. Being a partner of Glyndwr University, students of the Blake Hall College stand a 94.2 per cent chance of getting employed within six months, the Executive Director of the College, Mr Brink Gardner said in the college's brochure.
He said also that the college had been “providing quality education together with friendly and supportive environment for its students in the UK” and in the words of Anifowose, “that is what exactly is about to happen in Nigeria, most especially in the city of Ibadan.” The Blake Hall College is a UKBA licensed sponsor, Anifowose added.
But why was the programme brought to The Polytechnic, Ibadan and not some other higher institutions in the country? Anifowose said aside being a consultant to the polytechnic, his company could only do business with those who were opened up to it. He said the programme was supposed to have begun in the last one year but for lack of readiness and support from other institutions, and other state governments. He then thanked the Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who gave the mandate to begin classes in September, the Chairman of the Governing council of the polytechnic, Professor Oladepo Afolabi and the special Adviser to state governor on Education, Honourable Taiwo Otegbeye for being receptive to the idea and for providing the faculty to be used within the polytechnic's premises.
“You see, our company is a consultancy company and we are open to do business with anyone who is willing to partner with us, especially the higher institutions. But you see, it is one thing to have a vision, it is another thing to have people who will understand it. Now for example, this programme is supposed to have started a year ago but when you are doing something new, especially in this country, you are faced with criticism and they give you a lot of unnecessary bottlenecks and negativity in order to broaden their own horizons. But be that as it may, that should not deter us from doing what we should do. We do this now because we have an enabling environment, because we have a government that is allowing us to do. We have the chairman of the council and the council who really understand what we are trying to do for progress and development of Ibadan,” he further explained.
Course durations would range from one to 17 weeks for the executive development programmes while the top-up degree programmes will last for one year. Those coming in for courses will be provided with accommodation and customised Wi-Fi internet services (while those who are registered students of the polytechnic could also have access to it), as their certification will bear Blake Hall College certificates, Anifowose assured.Share