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Envoy Assures Young Nigerians of Opportunities to Study in France

By Eric Ojo, Abuja

The Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Mr. Denys Gauer has reaffirmed the determination of France to offer higher education opportunities to young Nigerians seeking admission into universities and other tertiary institutions abroad.

Mr. Gauer said France is willing to assist such categories of students in Nigeria as part of its contribution towards addressing the challenge posed by the increasing number of Nigerian students that are unable to secure admission into the existing universities in the country.

He noted that due to the increasing number of students enrolled in secondary education, Nigeria has had to in the last ten years, operate fundamental transformations in its education sector by allowing the development of private universities as the public universities alone are unable admit all candidates.

He added that the selective university entry examination and insufficient capacities of universities accounts for why Nigerian students are known for their high mobility on the African continent, noting that the number of Nigerian students abroad has continued to increase geometrically over the years.

The envoy further explained that international study experience is also highly valued on the employment market in Nigeria, adding that the economic growth which is accompanied by the emergence of a middle class with substantial financial resources, has increased the number students willing to study abroad.

Mr. Gauer who gave the assurance in his address at the opening ceremony of the 2016 French Education Fair on Tuesday in Abuja, said many Nigerian are equally attracted to studying abroad by the increasing need to acquire the requisite knowledge and competence to contribute their quota developmental needs of the country.

According to him, to meet the challenge linked to the economic and social development of the country, it is necessary to rely on a well-qualified workforce, in coherence with the skillsets needed  by the country, adding that France is ever willing to contribute in that regard.

He said the promotion of the French Higher Education system, is therefore a number priority for the Embassy of France in Nigeria, noting that the tools set for promotional purposes such as Campus France situated in Abuja and Lagos, need to evolve fully.

He added that visiting programmes with Nigerians officials in France, academic exchanges which has resulted in many university and scientific cooperation agreements between French and Nigeria higher education institutions should equally be improved.

Mr. Gauer further harped on the need to strengthen and sustain the platform for former Nigerian students in France (France Alumni), the development and promotion of related policies and programmes as well as the publication of the many success stories.

He however noted that the number Nigerian students currently studying in France,  is still relatively very low. “Too many students still think that it is an imperative to speaker French to be able to come and study in France”, he said.

The envoy added that the main challenge in promoting French higher education in Nigeria is to promote the wide range of programmes to a public which, according to him, is traditionally driven for linguistic as well as historical reasons towards English-speaking countries such as Great Britain, United States of America, Ghana, and South Africa

The French Ambassador, further noted that the 80 percent of the total request made to the Embassy for post graduate studies (Master Degree and PhD English-speaking of academic programmes) in France, clearly shows that Nigerian students really appreciate such programmes.

“The same applies to Business, Management, Engineering schools as well as programmes related to international relations and international law”, he added.

He also explained that this year’s French Education Fair which is the fourth edition of the event, offers the opportunity of promoting French Higher Education institutions as it gives representatives from Nigerians and French universities the opportunity to meet and interact.

He added that such meeting during the Fair enables vice chancellors and professors to explore cooperation opportunities as well as acknowledge the French system and its assets in Nigeria.

He noted that France is one of Nigeria’s principal investors, adding that about 50 French companies and subsidiaries are doing business in the country.

The French Education Fair is organized yearly in Nigeria by the French Embassy in conjunction with Tripplelink and Campus France and this year’s event is holding in Abuja and Lagos. The Fair brings together representatives from French universities, notable French companies and the French Embassy.


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