• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Stakeholders see robust PPP in education hubs deepening human capital development


Driven by the economic growth prospects that the establishment of an education hub holds for human capital development in Nigeria, stakeholders have identified the need for a robust public-private partnership to create effective education hubs, and deepen Nigeria’s knowledge based economy.
Analysts are of the opinion that education hubs represent a thriving move for knowledge sharing which is durable, sustainable and profitable and contribute to the process of economic growth.

Education hub is a designated region intended to attract foreign investment, retain local students, build regional reputation by providing access to high-quality education and training for both international and domestic students. With Nigeria’s education system generating huge foreign exchange for countries like US, Canada, UK, among others, experts believe that a replica of such hub as is operational in regions like Asia and Qatar would save the country huge foreign reserves.

Peter Okebukola, former executive secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), pointed out that education hub is a new, multi-campus township containing a cluster of universities that are supported by complementary activities like business parks and scientific facilities that will create great opportunities for employment and economic growth in any region it is established in.

Okebukola observes that the non-development of the nation’s education sector especially universities has over the years accounted for the huge capital flight experienced on an annual basis owing to the increase in foreign exchange loss to foreign universities. He insists that a progressive approach towards the entrenchment of quality education at all levels of education in the nation, especially at the tertiary institutions, is for government to throw its weight behind the setting up of education hubs, this he believes will nip in the bud the mass exodus of students to foreign countries and the consequent huge foreign exchange loss.

Making a case for linkages to boost education development through this hub, Adamu Rasheed Abubakar, vice chancellor, Bayero University Kano, opines that there exists a strong relationship between investment in higher education and the creation of a knowledge based society specifically stressing the need for a strong connection between the universities and industries Abubakar pointed out that developed countries are developed because their economy is knowledge driven while other countries are developing or under developed because they choose to maintain a resource dependent economy rather than one which is knowledge based. According to him, “We must device all necessary strategies to make sure knowledge is available and affordable for everyone – this is the only pathway to Nigeria’s sustainable development. Only education and knowledge when acquired and applied can build bridges and erect ladders tall enough to take our collective destiny to the stars.”

The university don observes that there is a tragic gulf between universities and industries-between universities and the private sector in knowledge delivery, adding that there must be an all stakeholders’ partnership in education before Nigeria’s educational industry can be salvaged from the doldrums.