Canada may be the next top destination for Nigerian students seeking to study abroad thanks to the Canadian Foundation Programme (CFP), which provides opportunities for Nigerians to spend a year in Nigeria then three years in colleges and universities in Canada.
The CFP was launched at the Eko Hotel and Suites by representatives of the Canadian government/schools, and Westerfield College, Yaba, penultimate week.
Mr Mike Dosunmu, Managing Director, Westerfield College, a post-secondary education college which is running the programme in Nigeria for the Canadian government, said parents and students have a lot to benefit from the initiative – the biggest of which was saving cost for quality education.
For instance, Dosunmu said parents could save as much as 50,000 Canadian Dollars it would have cost for their wards to spend the first year in Canada where the education structure requires students to pass through two years of college before crossing over to the university for another two years to earn a degree.
Going through CFP, he said the students spend one year in Nigeria, continue the second year in Canada, and then spend another two years in a university for their degree.
“This programme will save parents about 50,000 CAD. I thank the government of Canada/British Columbia and the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria for pulling all the stops to ensure that this is successful,” he said.
Dosunmu also said by spending one year post-secondary education in the country, the children get more time to mature before living their homes.
“We have many students, some 14/15 year olds that are being pushed away thousands of miles from home. This programme has a way of helping the children mature after their secondary education,” he said.
Speaking about Canadian lifestyle, Mr Marc Andre-Savage, First Secretary, Canadian Deputy High Commission, Lagos, said his country offers one of the best indices terms of quality of life as well as education.
He said the country had a low crime rate and had friendly people.
In terms of education quality, Andre-Savage said education in his country was so developed that quality was the norm irrespective of school.
“In the United States you may have some universities at the top and some lower down. But in Canada, we have good schools across board. It doesn’t matter which school you attend. You are assured of top quality education,” he said.
Mr Justin Kohlman, a representative of Northwest Community College, one of three colleges collaborating with Westerfield on the CFP, said Nigerian students should look forward a lot of hands on learning.
“In Canada we tend to do a lot of learning outside. If you are a business student, you go and work in companies and bring the knowledge back. If you are doing Geology, you learn by going on field trips,” he said.
Kohlman also added that students get a lot of support from the college during their stay.
Other schools that would accept CFP from Westerfield are: Northern Lights College, and
Principal of Westerfield College, Mr Dare FAlodun, praised the initiative for the opportunity to provide Nigerian students with top quality education.
“I have no doubt that this partnership will enable us provide top notch education for our students,” he said.
Dosunmu added that Westerfield was equal to the task of managing the one-year CFP.