Mick Howarth: “I’m not happy Nigerian students travel abroad for varsity degrees.”
A BRITISH higher education specialist and Director-General of Global Education Study Centre, Mick Howarth, has revealed that he is not happy seeing students from Nigeria travelling abroad to get university education, expressing his disappointment over the fallen standard of higher education in the country.
Speaking to journalists in his office in Lagos as part of activities to celebrate the centre’s 12th year anniversary and re-launch, Howarth stated that his study centre is a British Council approved education recruitment agency representing universities in Europe, North America, Asia and the Caribbean. He noted that in spite of the difficult environment in which Nigerian universities are operating, they still churned out students with stellar performances even abroad.
His words: “I am not happy that Nigerian students are leaving the country to study abroad. You know most parents obviously want their children to have a good education.” Generally, education is given most priority abroad and I know how difficult it is here to get a good quality education. Some of the universities I worked with here have capable staff even sometimes without pay, lack of equipment to study particularly in technology subjects, etc. I think the system is not broken; it has some difficulties and those who can afford it send their wards abroad or to private universities. “When students come in and show me their credentials, I noticed that they have a good match when compared with their oversea counterparts, which shows that the quality is better.” Speaking on the achievements of the centre since inception, Howarth said: “Since 2006, we have sent hundreds of students overseas particularly the United Kingdom but in the last five years, we have started branching out into other countries like Canada, Ireland and USA which is our normal destination. Also, we now send students to Russia, China and the Caribbean.” He continued: “So we got an extensive portfolio of oversea partners and basically, the cost varies. For example, in Russia and China, students can start a good education with about $5000 per year for a very high quality and prestigious university while in UK, Canada and USA, the cost is about $20,000 a year. There is a wide variation in terms of cost, so what we try to do is to talk to students and parents about the cost and to get them high quality education.”