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Int'l Linkage: FUL Moves to Partner University of Waterloo, Canada


The Management of the Federal University Lokoja (FUL) has begun the process of entering into a strategic partnership with the prestigious University of Waterloo in Canada. Aimed at elevating FUL's international collaboration and global presence when perfected, the partnership drive signifies a concerted effort towards academic advancement and it specifically targets staff exchange initiatives, joint conference hosting, and bolstering the engineering programmes newly established in the University.

A delegation led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi engaged with the Vice President of the University of Waterloo and his team in a meeting held at the Committee of Vice-Chancellors' (CVC) Board Room in Abuja during their visit to Nigeria recently.

Speaking during the session, the Vice-Chancellor emphasized FUL's eagerness to move beyond just signing memoranda to a level where it can actively harness the benefits of international collaborations and broaden the University's academic horizons beyond Nigeria's borders. Envisioning these partnerships as catalysts for global visibility and program fortification, Professor Akinwumi underscored their potential to propel the University's research endeavors.

Building upon their initial visit and engagement at FUL in May 2023, when Paul Ugor and other foreign scholars participated as guest speakers during a research and mentorship conference, both institutions explored avenues for deepening their bilateral ties. The University of Waterloo highlighted its Co-op program, offering paid internships and STEM-focused student exchanges, showcasing a commitment to joint programs and mutually beneficial initiatives.

Also, recognizing Waterloo's status as a premier engineering institution, often likened to the MIT of North America, the potential for collaboration with aspiring engineering faculty and students from the Federal University Lokoja was highlighted. The deliberations yielded concrete plans, with measures underway to promptly actualize joint conferences and exchange programs.

As the meeting concluded, a timeline was set, with a commitment that significant strides in this partnership would materialize within two (2) months, particularly by the end of May. This concerted effort reflects a shared dedication to academic excellence and cross-cultural collaboration, poised to enrich the educational landscape for both institutions.

In attendance at the meeting with the Federal University Lokoja Management were Dr. Christopher Taylor, Associate Vice President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism University of Waterloo; Paul Ugor, Professor of African and Postcolonial World Literatures, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Waterloo, ON; Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae (she/her), Dorothy Killam Fellow, Canada Research Chair, Royal Society of Canada College Member; and Heather Love, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Waterloo.

Members of FUL's delegation, on the other hand, included Professor Olayemi Akinwumi, Vice-Chancellor; Professor Abdullahi Emmanuel Bala, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration); Dr. Rebecca Aimiohu Okojie, Registrar; and Professor Sarah Dauda Yani, University Librarian. Others were Dr. Bankole Mutalib Adeowu, Director, Physical Planning and Development (PP&DD); Dr. Genevieve Ifeyinwa Okolo, Associate Professor, Department of English & Literary Studies; Mr. Muhammad Idris Mudale, Principal Assistant Registrar (Registrar's Office); Mr. Daniel Nwankwo, University Public Relations Officer; and Mr. Yusuf Hassan, Personal Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor. See more pictures here