Udora Orizu in Abuja
A former Minister of Education and ACPN presidential candidate in the forthcoming general elections, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, has launched a scholarship scheme for Nigerian women, in partnership with Nexford University.
The former World Bank official has also become the newest member of the next-generation university’s Global Advisory Board, which includes leading academics and practitioners like Dr. Curtis Bonk, Professor of Instructional Systems Technology, Indiana University.
Ezekwesili, who stressed that education is the “new oil”, will award five full scholarships to Nigerian women aged 16-25 to study Nexford’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree programme. The Oby Ezekwesili Scholarship Programme is the American university’s first women-only scholarship.
“More work must go into widening access and opportunities for women to level the gender playing field.”
“I believe Nexford scholarships will empower more women to study degrees and equip future leaders with the skills they need to shape our society. I hope recipients of the scholarship have a multiplier effect and encourage learners from any socio-economic background to earn degrees,” Ezekwesili said.
Nexford’s CEO, Fald Al Tarzi said Africa’s most populous country is one of the university’s key markets.
“A college degree will boost earnings by more than 20 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Economist’s analysis of World Bank data. By bringing globally affordable, high-quality education to Nigeria, we hope to play our part in spurring economic mobility.”
According to the Chief Academic Officer at Nexford, Dr. Sheila Fournier-Bonilla,”at Nexford, we are proud to offer young talents a workplace-relevant curriculum. Africa is the only region in the world where the youth population is increasing, so there is a real demand for higher education aligned to the changing global needs of society.”
BBA and MBA learners can choose to earn a degree with a specialisation relevant to their local market as well as their future career. Specialisations include Sustainability, where the planet’s dwindling resources top the agenda, and Managing Hyper-connectivity, where learners cover cybersecurity hacks and IoT ecosystems.
In response to Ezekwesili’s board position, Fournier-Bonilla added: “We have made the strategic decision to align with mission-driven partners and supporters: Dr. Oby will bring unique and relevant insights to the board.”
Nexford’s Nigeria Country Manager, Olamidun Majekodunmi described Ezekwesili as the “number one candidate” for the university’s advisory board seat in Nigeria due to her “passion for education, economic opportunities and African development.”
Interested candidates can apply to Nexford’s Oby Ezekwesili Scholarship Programme by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will close when Nexford receives its maximum number of applications or on February 1, 2019, whichever comes first.