A team from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, was recently on a promotion and advocacy visit to the United Arab Emirates where they displayed the available academic programmes run by the institution through its Distance Learning Centre.
The team was led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kabiru Bala, with the Director, ABU Distance Learning Centre, Prof Muhammed Ibrahim Sule, and the Deputy Director of the Centre in charge of Learner Support & Information and Technology, Dr. Usman Abubakar Zaria, as members.
While in Dubai, they had a series of high-level meetings with Edoxi Training Institute, a strategic partner of ABU based in the UAE at which the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kabiru Bala, said the ABU Distance Learning Centre, which was recently rated as the best in Nigeria by the National Universities Commission, was the right vehicle to drive the initiative.
It was all about collaboration between the University and Edoxi Training Institute towards promoting ABU programmes within the UAE and the effort had yielded results as the two organisations agreed to collaborate on a number of workable areas.
They resolved on the use of Edoxi Training Institute’s facilities for the purpose of conducting ABU Distance Learning Centre exams as well as the use of its office as resource and information centre.
Edoxi Training Institute also accepted to promote ABUDLC within the UAE and Asia as a whole, in addition to identifying for ABU a number of programmes that portend huge patronage within Asia, if delivered via robust online means.
It was further agreed that the Institute would work to see that all identified short training courses are certified by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, United Arab Emirates.
Equally, the team had an interaction with the Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UAE, Mohammed Dansanta Rimi, in Abu Dhabi. A similar meeting was also held at the Nigerian Consulate in Dubai between the team and the Consul-General, Tayyibat Atinuke Mohammed.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kabiru Bala, expressed gratitude to the Nigerian embassy in Abu Dhabi for the support to the University and urged that the embassy should continue to promote its cause over there.
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Responding, Rimi described as laudable the initiative by the University to promote its academic programmes run by the Distance Learning Centre beyond Nigeria. The envoy thanked the Vice-Chancellor and other members of the team for the visit and pledged to continue to support the University in this direction.
At the Nigerian Consulate in Dubai, the Director, ABU Distance Learning Centre, Prof Muhammed Ibrahim Sule, spoke on the DLC’s model of distance education, available programmes and the quality assurance framework put in place.
Sule explained that the new normal arising from the COVID-19 pandemic pushed organisations globally to adapt to the emerging realities and to also create new frontiers.
“In particular, the lockdown, particularly the intermittent governments restrictions in cross-border movements across the globe, means that institutions need to swiftly strategise and re-invent educational content delivery methods,” he noted.
The DLC Director, who stressed that the University would consolidate the gains achieved from the UAE project, also said that ABUDLC had already moved to establish strong presence in Europe and the Americas.