Nigeria is a country of about 140 million people: a rapidly growing country with an almost vibrant economy. The country over the years has been plagued by corruption. The social fabric has been in a deplorable condition, leading to unimaginative placements in world index standards.
Education is vital in human existence; it is a tool that helps the government, the private sector and informal units. For Nigeria as a country to move forward, we need qualitative and substantive education. Over the years, the educational system has been in disarray and our children’s future is in jeopardy. The efforts of our founding fathers to solidify Nigeria’s universities and polytechnics seem to have gone down the drain.
The latest ranking of World Universities, places the first University of Nigeria, the University of Ife, at a distant six thousand three hundred and thirty four (6,334) It seems that help has been found in foreign education. Countries like: USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Finland, Japan, etc. They have a good educational system. Getting an education outside the country is expensive per se. The average tuition fees (Bsc) of some selected countries (excluding living expenses) for undergraduates are: US$8,000, UK £6,000, Singapore $4,000, Malta $20,000, Malaysia $1,000, Ireland €6,000, Norway free, Sweden free, Germany free, Denmark free, Finland free, etc. These fees when converted to Naira are: Malaysia N130,000, UK N1,400,000, US N1,040,000, Malta N2,600,000, etc.
Free education, at all levels, is available in some European countries: 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 types of teacher training, health care training, technical training; etc. The financing of education is the responsibility of: the central government, regional authorities and private interests. All higher education institutions are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, except University Sciences (Ministry of Agriculture). Higher education is divided into undergraduate study (combined towards a first degree) and postgraduate study and research. Sweden has 39 accredited higher education institutions offering structured degree programs. The English language is a mode of study in some universities. Foreign students can work and study. Sweden has a bustling economy with a very high per capita income. Nigerian students should take this opportunity to study in Sweden.
In Finland, all higher education institutions are subject to the authority of the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs. Higher education in Norway is offered mainly in state institutions: universities, university colleges, state colleges and art colleges. The bachelor’s degree is completed after 3 years of study, the master’s degree is completed after 2 years’ duration, and the doctorate is after 3 years’ duration. Education is free at all levels in Finland. Foreign students can study in English as 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 in this regard.
In Malaysia, there are four types of institutions that offer higher education, namely: local public university, international universities, private universities and more than 500 public higher education institutions (PHEIS). The Systematic Education Group of Colleges operates eight private institutions of higher education (PHEIS). . The main objective of Systematic is to provide training to the graduates of the school for their future career in Accounting, Business, Computer Science, Marketing, Administration, 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 holders of a student pass or permit can work while studying to supplement their livelihood. Students can work part time for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Students have options to work in: local companies, multinational companies and embassies. Landing jobs at multinational companies will depend on your previous qualifications and the salary range from $1,500 to $2,500 per month. Getting a job at a local company is easy for students: salary ranges from $800 to $1500. Accommodation costs from $65/month to $150. The country is very affordable to live in. Many Nigerians are already in Malaysia studying for different programs.
Singapore has an education system similar to that of the United Kingdom. At the Tertiary level, it has three Universities and another 7 institutions affiliated with both local and foreign Universities, and 4 polytechnics. The full-time enrollment of the Universities is around 40,000, of which 20,000 are women. Tuition fees for international students are generally 10% higher than for Singapore students. Tuition depends on the discipline you offer, specialized disciplines like medicine and dentistry cost more than science, humanities and law. Medicine costs between $8,500 and $10,000 per session: humanities, law, social sciences, etc. it costs between $2,500 and $6,000 for a bachelor’s degree. The cost of tuition for the 4-year Polytechnic ranges from $1,350 to $2,500. The Singapore government heavily subsidizes your higher education through tuition scholarship. The Tuition Fee Loan Plan helps pay 75% to 80% of tuition fees, making higher education accessible to almost everyone. If you can’t repay your loan after graduation, you’ll have to work another year or two to pay off the balance. Singapore’s economy is so bustling. It ranks 20th in the table of the richest countries with a per capita income of $24,500/year Living in Singapore is cheap compared to the income earned; and it seems that higher education in Singapore is affordable for all capable students.
Scholarships help students who want to study abroad get up to speed with less financial burden. Examples include: British Council Scholarship Programs, Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Scheme, Commonwealth Science Council, UNESCO, Ford Foundation, African Education Trust, Rotary Foundation Ambassadors Scholarship, etc. British Chevening Scholarships: These are funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (the British Foreign Office). They award scholarships each year in more than 150 countries around the world. This scholarship scheme provides fully funded Masters programs for talented and young Nigerian graduates. Chevening has since inception produced more than 800 Nigerian scholars. This figure places the country in first place in sub-Saharan Africa. British Council Scholarship Programs: Citizens from around 70 countries are eligible to undertake full study at postgraduate level through the British Council Scholarship programme, which is administered through its offices abroad. The scheme is advertised through the British Council in the countries in which it operates. Details are available from British Council offices. Ford Foundation: The International Fellowship Program (IFP) provides support for up to three years of formal postgraduate study. Fellows must be citizens of Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Chile, Peru, Russia, and Vietnam.
Overseas certificates are rated very highly in the country. Most people when they return to the country with their certificates always get higher positions. A friend of mine who works in a bank went to the UK to get his MBA from him. When he came back, his bank promoted him and not until two weeks later did he get another job (paying double his salary at his old 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 tuition. Your first step in studying abroad is getting the right information: browse university sites, country sites, scholarship sites, etc. Get college or university prospectuses, review courses and syllabus. Get plenty of admissions before choosing.