Nigeria is a country with about one hundred and forty million inhabitants: a fast growing country with a near-vibrant economy. The Country over the years has been bedeviled by corruption. The social fabric has been in deplorable condition, leading to unfanciful placements in the world index standards.
Education is vital in human existence; it is a tool which helps government, private sector and informal units. For Nigeria as a country to forge ahead we need qualitative and substantive education. Over the years the educational system has been in disorder and the future of our children is in peril. The efforts of our founding fathers to make Nigerian Universities and Polytechnics solid seem to have gone down the drain.
The latest ranking of World Universities, places the first University in Nigeria- University of Ife, a distant six thousand three hundred and thirty four (6,334).Succor seems to have been found in foreign education. Countries like: U.S, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Finland, Japan, etc have good educational system. Acquiring education outside the country is expensive per se. Average tuition fees (Bsc) of some selected countries (excluding living expenses) for undergraduate are: U.S $8,000, UK 6,000 pounds, Singapore $4,000, Malta $20,000, Malaysia $1,000, Ireland 6,000 euro, Norway-free, Sweden-free, Germany-free, Denmark-free, Finland-free, etc. These fees when converted to Naira is: Malaysia N130,000,UK N1,400,000,US N1,040,000,Malta N2,600,000,etc.
Free education- in all levels, is available in some countries in Europe-Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Germany. In Sweden, all levels of education are free. The Swedish system includes not only traditional universities but also different kinds of Teacher Training, Health Care Training, Technical Training; etc.Education funding is the responsibility of: the Central government, regional authorities and private interests. All institutions of higher education fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education except the University Sciences (Ministry of Agriculture).Higher education is divided into undergraduate studies (combined towards a first degree) and postgraduate studies and research. Sweden has 39 accredited institutions of Higher education that offer structured degree programmes.English language is a mode of study at some universities. Foreign students are allowed to work and study. Sweden has a boisterous economy with a very high per-capita income. Nigerian students should take this opportunity to study in Sweden.
In Finland all institutions of higher education are subject to the authority of the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs. Higher Education in Norway is mainly offered at state institutions: Universities, University colleges, state colleges and art Colleges. Bachelors degree is completed after 3yrs of study, Master’s degree is completed after 2yrs duration, and PhD is after 3 years duration. Education is free at all levels in Finland. Foreign students can study in English since some Universities and colleges offer their courses in English Language. Students can work and study in Finland. There is no specific minimum wage, because there is no legislation on it.
In Malaysia there are four kinds of institutions offering higher education, namely: local public University, international Universities, Private Universities, and over 500 Public Higher Educational Institutions(PHEIS).The Systematic Education Group of Colleges operates eight Private Higher Educational Institutions(PHEIS). Systematic’s prime objective is to provide training to school leavers for their future career in Accounting ,Business, Computing, Marketing, management, Banking, secretarial and Commerce and industry. Systematic has produced world-class students in professional courses such as LCCI, ACCA, CIMA, ICSA, CIMA, ABE and CIM. A good reason why international students should study in Malaysia is that the holders of student pass or permit are allowed to work while studying to supplement their living. Students are allowed to work part-time for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Students have options to work in: local companies, multinational companies and embassies. Getting jobs in the multinational companies will depend on your prior qualifications and the salary range from $1,500-$2,500 per month. Students getting jobs in a local company is easy: the salary is from $800-$1,500.Accomodation is from $65/month-$150.The country is so affordable to live in. Lots of Nigerians are already in Malaysia studying for different programmes.
Singapore has an Educational system similar to that of the UK. At Tertiary level it has three Universities and 7 other institutions affiliated to both local and foreign Universities, and 4 polytechnics. The full-time enrollment of the Universities is about 40,000, of which 20,000 are female. Tuition fees of international students are generally 10% more than that for Singapore students. Tuition depends on the discipline you offer.Specialised disciplines like medicine and dentistry costs more than that of science, humanities, and law. Medicine goes for between $8,500 and $10,000/session: humanities, law, social science etc go for between $2,500-6000 for bachelor’s degree. The tuition fee for the 4-year Polytechnic is between $1,350-2,500. Singapore government highly subsidizes its higher education through the tuition grant. The tuition fee Loan Scheme helps pay 75%-80% of tuition fees, which makes higher education accessible to almost everyone. If after graduation you can’t afford to pay your loan, you will have to work an extra year or two to enable you pay the balance. The economy of Singapore is so boisterous. It is placed 20th in the table of the richest countries with a per capita income of $24,500/year Living in Singapore is inexpensive compared to income earned; and it seems higher education in Singapore is affordable to all able students.
Scholarships helps students who want to study abroad actualize it with less financial burden. Some examples are: British council fellowship programmes, Commonwealth Scholarship and fellowship plan, Commonwealth science council, UNESCO, Ford Foundation, African Education Trust, The Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial scholarship etc. British Chevening Scholarships -is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs).They give out scholarships every year in over 150 countries world-wide. This scholarship scheme provides fully funded Master’s Degree programmes to talented graduates and young Nigeria.Chevening has since inception produced over 800 Nigerian scholars. This figure puts the country first in Sub-Saharan Africa. British Council Fellowship Programmes- nationals of about 70 countries are eligible for full study at postgraduate level through the British council fellowship scheme, which is administered through its offices overseas. The scheme is advertised through the British Council in countries in which it operates. Details are available from British Council Offices. Ford Foundation-the international Fellowships programme (IFP) provides support for up to three years of formal graduate level study. Fellows must be nationals from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Chile, Peru, Russia, and Vietnam.
Overseas certificates are rated very high in the country. Most people when they come back to the country with their certificates always get higher positions. A friend of mine who works in a bank went to UK for his MBA.He spent one year in UK before coming back. When he came back his bank promoted him and not up to two weeks after, he got another job (paying twice his salary in his former office).
The dream of studying abroad can be achieved through proper planning. With free schools in Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway, you can study for your PhD, MSC, MBA, Diploma, BSc, LLB etc without paying for tuition. Your first step towards studying abroad is to get adequate information: browse universities sites, countries sites, scholarship sites, and etc.Get prospectuses of Universities or colleges, go through the courses and curriculum. Get many admissions before choosing.
Aother – Chimere Ukoha Iroha