The Director of Centre for International Education (CIE), University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) Olabisi Olasehinde-Williams, says the institution has the highest number of international student enrolment in the country for the 2018/2019 Academic Session.
Dr Olasheinde-Williams stated this at the 10th International Students’ Day celebration held at the University on Tuesday.
She said the International Student enrolment now stands at over 300 from about 15 countries across the African sub-region.
According to her, the foreign students are pursuing courses in the Immersion, Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes of the University.
The director added that in the 2018/2019 session, the university attracted 142 undergraduate and 10 postgraduate students from 13 countries.
She also said the university currently has 15 international staff members apart from those who come to different departments on exchange or research programmes.
“To date we have international staff and students from 20 countries, including Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea and Ivory Coast.
“Other countries include Japan, Liberia, Libya, Niger Republic, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Pakistan and Togo among others,” she said.
She noted that the Centre liaises with the university administration to provide conducive work, social and living environment for International Staff.
Olasheinde-Williams also said the University, through the Centre’s facilitation, has spent over N40 million TETFund grants on university staff for international conference attendance to different parts of the world.
“In the last batch alone, 23 TETFund conference grants, totaling N34.56 million, were secured for staff across various faculties of the university,” she said.
While congratulating the international staff and students for giving the university the reasons to celebrate a decade of internationalisation of university education, the director said she remains committed to connecting the world through education.
Also speaking at the event, a former Director of CIE, University of Ilorin, Abdulrafi Omotosho, appealed to the Federal Government to open up the nation’s higher institution to experts from other countries.
According to him, the cheapest way to transfer technology is to allow researchers from other countries to come, teach and train students.
He explained that most countries in Europe, America, and the western world generally open their doors to outsiders to bring their expertise.
The former director, however, observed that securing entry visa and renewal of residence permit for the international staff and students is one of the challenges confronting the internationalisation drive of the University of Ilorin.
He pointed out that many of the scientists and engineers making America great today are not Americans.
Speaking earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Sulyman Abdulkareem, said that the CIE, within its ten years of existence, has recorded remarkable achievements in actualising the University’s vision.
He observed that the centre has helped in attracting foreign staff and students, and also in facilitating international conferences and in driving international collaborations. (NAN)