• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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Online MBA programmes open new opportunities for Nigerian youths

NUC issues license to digital university, eases access to education

Quality higher education is extremely important for young Nigerians to enable them to position themselves advantageously in the global workplace competitive ecosystem, especially when faced with inadequate funding and a consistent lockdown of tertiary institutions.

According to Forbes, a global media company focusing on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and lifestyle, “the companies that will come out ahead beyond COVID-19 are the ones best able to use technology, not only to keep functioning but to rethink their future business models, and fast-track digital transformation.”

Going by the insistent Academic Staff Union of Universities’ strikes action that has in no small way paralysed academic activities and quality education in Nigeria, one would no doubt argue that the future of Nigerian higher education is online.

Besides, many top universities in the world are today adapting to the online platform to reach out to students all around the world. An online executive MBA is all about bringing learning to the people, the essence of knowledge is to make it accessible, and the online MBA platform is simply fulfilling that purpose.

In 2022, the public universities in the country were under lock and key for over eight months, leaving the students no choice but to seek solace elsewhere.

Sola Balogun, a postgraduate student at one of the universities, decried the fact that an MSc programme she started in 2019 as a part-time student has lasted till 2023 with no end in sight due to the push and pull ongoing between lecturers and the government.

The demand for accredited and online MBA programmes has been on the rise; professionals do not want to compromise their work for studies, and traveling abroad for an executive MBA is not always a feasible option.

Candidates with MBAs are highly sought after by private companies and government establishments.

In 2019, Nigeria experienced an economic resurgence, today, Nigeria is considered a land of opportunities, with one of its biggest strengths being its human capital.

The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is expected to reach 2502.00 USD by the end of 2023, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations.

In other words, there is an expectation that the economy will do well in the years ahead, which in turn will create room for employment.

When real GDP is growing strongly, employment is likely to increase as companies hire more workers for their factories and people have more money in their pockets.

According to Oby Ezekwesili, former Nigerian minister of education, “The only way we can get out of the depths of inequality that cut across our continent is to offer opportunities for learning, for gaining new skills, and for adapting to a dynamic world, to our young people.”

And with a shift in how people work these days, there is a great need for a shift in the knowledge-seeking approach, and that suggests the formal education approach could be jettisoned for the 21st-century online approach.

For Nigerians who would want to enrol for an online MBA in the UK, here are some of the institutions that offer courses in online studies and their tuition fees.

Warwick Business School is ranked number one in the UK and number two in the world by the FT, beating a handful of big American universities and business institutes hands-down.

The course, like all good MBAs, is rigorous and demands that all students have four years of management experience before enrolment.

The MBA course takes three years and seven core modules to complete, which include a dissertation, demanding around 15 hours a week of study.

Students come to visit the department in Warwick twice in the first year and for a few days each in the second and third years.

The Warwick University Online MBA fee is £7,500 GBP (about N4,162,500) per year, and in its three-year duration, it amounts to £22,500 GBP (about N12,487,500).

Read also: How we acquired 25% African customers of collapsed Silicon Valley Bank – Oyetayo, Verto CEO

The University of Liverpool Management School is one of an elite group of institutions worldwide to hold the gold standard ‘triple-crown’ accreditation from AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS.

The Liverpool MBA is designed to extend your existing expertise and build strategic leadership capabilities.

You’ll build a deeper understanding of core business and management disciplines, and learn how they link together strategically and operationally.

The University of Liverpool Online MBA fee is £8,400 GBP (about N4,662,000) per year and £16,800 GBP (about N9,324,000) in two years.

Durham University Business School’s online MBA is ranked 6th in the world. Flexibility is at the heart of the Durham Online MBA programme as you can personalise your programme to meet your career goals.

You can study fully online, complete some of your learning at Durham, and undertake relevant optional modules.

The Durham University Online MBA fee is £ 14,500 GBP (about N8,047,500) per year and £29,000 GBP (N16,095,000) for two years.

The Leicester Global MBA provides the knowledge, skills, and internationally recognised qualifications to advance your career in management. The cost of obtaining the University of Leicester Online MBA is £11,900 GBP (N 6,604,500) per year.

As African businesses, including my own, seek to expand and boost prosperity across the continent, we face a hurdle that we and our governments must do more to overcome.

The majority of those entering the workforce lack the skills required to meet the changing needs of the global economy.

Up to 20 million, increasingly well-educated young people are set to join Africa’s labour force every year for the coming three decades. As the World Economic Forum has argued, ensuring we have a strong ecosystem to offer quality jobs- and the skills to match – will be imperative if we are to fully leverage this demographic dividend.

By 2030, about a quarter of the world’s population under the age of 25 will be in or from Africa. So the economic prospects not only of Africa but of the world depend on the skills, capabilities, and productivity of our youth.

Employers, including Dangote Group, need employees with a mix of strong cognitive and problem-solving capabilities, soft skills, and 21st-century (often digital) skills. Yet there is a large gap in all three characteristics.

In a 2019 survey by PwC, 97 percent of African chief executives said the lack of skills was affecting their organisations’ growth and profitability. We believe Africa will drive the future of the global economy, but if our youth do not have the skills, then how can they do so? This is one of the biggest problems facing African companies.

For Dangote, bridging the gap requires spending extra time, effort, and financing on training and upskilling staff, building recruitment pipelines with investments in colleges, and in some cases, hiring from outside the continent. Such extra costs hinder the ability of the private sector and the economy to grow and diversify.

A large proportion of job applicants not only lack basic qualifications but also struggle with simple computation and comprehension. This hinders their ability to take up the jobs we are desperate to offer and impedes those already in employment.

Skills acquired early in primary school form the foundation for later learning and are fundamental to a productive, capable workforce and a strong economy. Gaining digital skills, or more rudimentary technical and vocational qualifications is harder without basic learning.