Rutgers University, New Jersey and Gregory University, Uturu, Nigeria have agreed to explore potential areas of partnership in the areas of student exchanges and improving public service in Nigeria and the United States.
Exchanging views with the visiting Chancellor of Gregory University at the Newark Campus of Rutgers, the Dean of School of Public Affairs and Administration, Dr. Charles Menifield spoke of the importance of education as the key to fighting ignorance, poverty, and disease.
As an institution that prides itself on diversity, Dr. Menified Stated, Rutgers’ School of Public Affairs and Administration – SPAA, ranked 7th in the United States, will continue to support educational initiatives around the world.
He announced that a potential partnership with Gregory University was timely because it would be the first collaboration with a university in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the Dean, SPAA has exchange programs with other universities in Europe and Asia and was yet to formally engage with any University in Africa.
After a conversation on peace, security, and leadership challenges in Africa, Dr. Menifield accepted an invitation to conduct leadership-training workshops for public administrators in Nigeria this summer.
He acknowledged the potentials of Africa in relation to human and natural resources, saying that with the right leadership, Nigeria and other African countries should overcome poverty.
Earlier, the Chancellor and founder of Gregory University, Professor Gregory Ibe detailed his accomplishments toward investment in Nigeria’s education sector.
Professor Ibe said he was motivated to establish the university to bring about the needed change in Nigerian education.
“With the experience, I gained in executing development projects for United Nations Development Program and UNESCO, “ Ibe said, “ I thought I could utilize the opportunity to contribute to my country’s growth”.
According to him, Gregory University is one of the most equipped institutions of higher learning in Nigeria with international educational exchange opportunities for students and faculty in different fields.
He expressed gratitude to Rutgers SPAA for accepting to collaborate with Gregory University to improve public service in Nigeria.
In a remark, the President of the Center for Media & Peace Initiatives, New York, Dr. Uchenna Ekwo praised the foresight of Professor Ibe for seeking international partnerships, saying that the global village phenomenon makes it imperative for international education to thrive in the 21st century.
Moreover, Dr. Ekwo noted, that with constant closures of public universities in Nigeria due to the inability of the government to meet the demands of teachers, education in that country would continue to go down a slippery slope.
Private universities such as Gregory University, therefore, have the opportunity and obligation to salvage education in the world’s largest concentration of black people, the Nigeria-born scholar emphasized.