Chancellor Kent Hance and Abiola Ajimobi, governor of Oyo State, Nigeria
Chancellor Kent Hance and Oyo Executive Gov. Abiola Ajimobi signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday (April 17) to explore future partnership opportunities between the Texas Tech University System and The Technical University located in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
“We would love to have additional students from Nigeria and for our students to also visit and study in Nigeria,” Hance said. “As we grow in international matters, Nigeria will be a strong partner with us.”
Oyo State officials selected the Texas Tech System for its multi-campus offerings and academic emphasis on engineering, agriculture and social sciences. Ajimobi said Texas Tech and the state university system is a model for Nigerian universities.
“We decided we must have a system that not only is going to be the first in Nigeria, but also the best in Africa that can capture all the students that travel from the U.S., Europe and neighboring countries for quality education,” Ajimobi said. “We decided to partner with Texas Tech and replicate what we see here in Nigeria with your support.”
The partnership will allow students from each university to study at their home university for two years, and then study at the partner institution to finish their degree. Hance said the Texas Tech System will host up to 250 Nigerian students each academic year.
Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa with more than 125 million people and has Africa’s second-largest and one of the fastest-growing economies. Producing more than 2.5 million barrels of oil per day, Nigeria is the world’s sixth-largest producer. Oyo State is located in southwestern Nigeria, and its capital is Ibadan.
Ajimobi said that the partnership with the Texas Tech System is an important step in furthering Oyo State’s education goals. Oyo State was the first in Nigeria to provide a free education system and has developed its resources for educating students in primary and secondary schools by improving infrastructure.
“When you look around, we have succeeded so far in transforming the state within the last 24 months in terms of root networks and social services,” Ajimobi said. “Our next level, which we believe would form the business of our development, is to develop our human capital. We are educating our children—helping them and building schools.”
Joseph C. Rallo, Texas Tech System vice chancellor for academic affairs, said that the partnership will enable Texas Tech to become a more globally engaged institution.
“As Texas Tech seeks national research university status, we need to have an international component that fosters programs and partnerships with students and faculty from around the world,” Rallo said. “Not only is the partnership important for academic reasons, but also because it is the right thing to do. As educators, we need to encourage our students to think globally and engage with the world.”