The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) announced in Abuja on Thursday that it was sponsoring 30 university teachers on its overseas enhancement programme this year.
Mr Rabe Darma, the Executive Secretary of the fund, told the our correspondent that the Fund had signed the memorandum of
understanding (MoU) with some of the universities abroad for the staff development programme.
“We are considering about 20 to 30 lecturers for this year. We are talking with some universities in the United Kingdom (UK).
“Also within the same universities, we are considering this split PhD programmes,” Darma said.
He said that all the benefitting lecturers held the PhD qualification, while some of them had been in the university for “some donkey years”, and had attained the position of Lecturer 1 or Senior Lecturers.
“But, some of them do not know what we call modern delivery method of university teaching.
“So, we will get some of them. Now, we are talking to three universities in the United Kingdom (UK) because we already have an MoU with some of these universities.
“Part of the MoU is staff development. We are taking these lecturers to these universities for three months.
“They will learn how to prepare for lectures, how to deliver lectures and modern techniques of lecture delivery.
“They would be exposed to world’s best teaching technologies and other rudiments of modern teaching methods that are probably not applicable in this nation,” Darma said.
He said the PTDF had been engaging with some universities that would build the lecturers ‘capacity and listed them as the University of Leeds, University College, London and Cranfield University.
Darma said: “Our discussion has earned much progress. We have had progressive discussions with them and some other universities, too.
“Now, what does the split PhD mean. It means that you could be doing your PhD programme simultaneously in two universities. For example, in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and the University of Leeds (UK).
“So, at the UNN, you have a supervisor and in Leeds, you have a supervisor too.
“At the end of the day, if the university outside the country may not agree for you to hold a degree in the name of UNN, it can award the scholar its own certificate as long as he/she meets the requirements of the certificate issuing university.
“Our agreement with them is that at the end of the day, if the scholar meets the requirements of these advanced countries, he is going to take the PhD of that University.
“That is what we are doing.”
According to the chief executive, the fund is also trying the possibility of bringing some of these overseas lectures for some exchange programmes in Nigerian universities.
“For instance, a professor of Mechanical Engineering in Leeds can come to the department of Mechanical Engineering, say in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, for a seven-day programme.
“He may spend two days with the staff of the University in the department, exchanging ideas, doing probably seminars and other things. The third day, the same lecturer will present a seminar paper and all other people, including students, will participate.
“Then, for the next two days of the week, he will interact with the students, giving them, for example, lectures on methodology and research method.
“So every student from level three up till level five can come and sit and understand how to do research,” Darma said.