The Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Prof Sulyman Abdulkareem has said the institution plans to re-brand into global University through the employment of more foreign nationals.
Abdulkareem disclosed this on Tuesday while speaking at the interactive session and get-together with international staff organised by the Centre for International Education (CIE).
The vice-chancellor said that the university management would continue to do its best to inspire and motivate all staff, particularly, international scholars, in accordance with the Federal Government’s commitment to manpower development.
“I foresee a time when the rate of foreign nationals coming to work in this University will become huge just as our staff in foreign universities abroad will also become very huge,” he said.
Abdulkareem, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof Bolaji Sule, said that the contributions of international staff to the growth of the University have never gone unnoticed.
He said: “we are not unmindful of the sacrifices you are making for your career in this University that has grown to become a pride of Nigeria and Africa”.
The VC said that the University has international staff members as scholars from African countries such as Ghana, Congo, Egypt and Asian countries like Sri Lanka working side by side their Nigerian colleagues to keep the University’s flag flying.
“More of these nationals will be employed in years to come to further strengthen our brand as a global University.
“I see coming generations of the current international scholars, their biological and academic children, coming back into our midst settling down here, marrying our people, working and retiring here,” the Vice-Chancellor said.
He disclosed that the University has enjoyed working with the international staff, and the administration cherished their presence.
According to him, the institution will continue to do all that is required to keep them and encourage more foreign nationals to work with the University.
He believed that by so doing, they are building international understanding, cross-cultural relationship and a safer and peaceful world.
The VC, who also charged the international staff to play their role, added that every opportunity comes with its own challenges and working in the University of Ilorin is not an exception.
He advised the scholars that in discussing their experiences about the University and the Nigerian nation, they should “show more understanding and maturity.
He urged them to be “appreciative of the little the University and the nation can afford, live within the law and pray for a better clime so that their own coming generations who choose to stay back may inherit good legacies”.
Abdulkareem said that the nation is at peace despite terrorists’ agenda and Unilorin is perhaps the fastest growing University in Africa with more than 18 years of the unbroken academic calendar.
He explained that as the University students are increasing, so also the academic programmes creating more opportunities for foreign nationals to study and work in the University.
Prof. Felicia Olasehinde-Williams, Director of the Centre for International Education, commended the VC for the efforts geared towards improving the number of foreign scholars in the institution.