The Alumni Association of Belarussian Institutions in Nigeria has canvassed for partnership with the Republic of Belarus in the areas of education, technology and trade.
The Alumni association made the suggestion at the 2nd Annual General Meeting in Lagos which was attended by the representative of the ambassador of Belarus, Mr. Alekandre Lukashevich, counsellor in charge of economic, trade and education.
Members of the Alumni from different parts of the country and abroad called for a strong tier between Belarus and the association in several areas including education.
President of Belarusniki, Dr. Muktar Usman said the Alumni association is trying to get the Belarus embassy to subsidize education and also bring their universities for education fair and attract Nigerians to attend schools in their country.
Usman disclosed that the two nations need to exchange students and also reach an agreement which both countries would give scholarship to their students to study in Belarus and Nigeria.
He revealed that there are several Nigerians studying in different discplines in Belarus and that part of their meeting is to give back to the society because they were trained by government.
The association appealed to the government of Belarus to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the establishment of the association to exploit the huge investment in all sectors of the economies of Nigeria.
In his presentation, Mr. Lukashevich stressed that Belarus considers Nigeria as an important and long-term foreign economic partner, the development of relations with which also has serious implications for establishing and strengthening ties with other Central African countries.
Lukashevich disclosed that cooperation between Belarus and Nigeria in the field of education has been carried out since 1965 and is well-developed.
He said higher education in Belarus is popular among Nigerian students due to its high quality and low cost stating ‘’Nigerian citizens are most in demand specialties in the field of medicine, engineering, information technology, agriculture’’.
The counsellor revealed that in 2017, the embassy of Belarus in Nigeria issued 59 visas for study while from 2010 to 2017, the number of Nigerian students receiving higher education in Belarus increased 10 times.
His words: ‘’In the 2017/2018 academic year more than 600 Nigerian students are studying at Belarusian universities, which is 3.07 per cent of the total number of foreign students. In 2017 Nigeria was on the 5th place among countries which are importing educational services from Belarus. From 2011 to 2016, the export of educational services from Belarus to Nigeria increased 4.7 times (from 463.7 thousand US dollars in 2011 to 2180.8 thousand US dollars in 2016).
‘’The most popular Belarusian universities among Nigerian students are: Grodno State Medical University (237 Nigerian citizens studying at the moment), Vitebsk State Medical University (86 Nigerian students), Brest State Technical University (21 Nigerian students) and the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics’’.
According to hi, in October 2017 a delegation of the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics headed by the Vice-Rector for Education, Mr. Nikulshyn Barys visited Nigeria. The delegation he said agreed to establish a joint preparatory faculty of training on distance form on the basis of Yandutse College in Kano and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the College.
‘’In the case of interest of the Federal Ministry of Education of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in developing further cooperation with Belarus in the field of education Belarusian Side is ready for any constructive dialogue and considerations of variants of further cooperation’’, he stated.