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GAMBIA: MINISTER PIERRE GOMEZ REQUESTS POSTGRADUATE SCHORLARSHIPS FOR GAMBIAN STUDENTS IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES

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Its Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Prof. Pierre Gomez, who made the request during a courtesy call on acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Chris Maiyaki, yesterday, in Abuja, commended Nigerians for laying the foundation of university education in his home country.

He said most of the principal officers, including the vice chancellor, at his nation’s premier university, are Nigerians.

While commending the quality of Nigerian universities, the minister said Gambians, who undertook postgraduate programmes in Nigeria under the World Bank-sponsored African Centre of Excellence (ACE), are currently playing strategic roles in the West African country.

Gomez explained that Gambia is particularly interested in postgraduate scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes.

He said: “Because of the relationship we have between Banjul and Abuja, we are here to seek support for scholarships at postgraduate level in different areas, especially in STEM.”

Responding, Maiyaki, who was joined by other directors in the commission, assured the visitor of support, adding that Nigeria would not relent in playing a big brother’s role despite having its own challenges.

He expressed delight that the visit came on the heels of the recent launch of Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) in the Nigerian university system.

Maiyaki said the most populous nation had equally opened up its higher education space to attract major players across the globe through the transactional education guidelines put in place by NUC.

On the request for postgraduate scholarships, the NUC helmsman advised the Gambian minister to write formally on specific programmes and universities.

While saying NUC encourages joint research between scholars in both nations to address shared problems, Maiyaki revealed that the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had perfected a plan to attract about 500 Gambian students to Nigerian universities.

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