Global Reach in Higher Education

JU Partners with PTDF to Educate 25 of Nigeria’s Top Young Scholars

After being introduced by President Tim Cost as a friend, Timipre Wolo, Deputy Manager of Nigeria’s Petroleum Technology Development Fund’s Collaboration unit, spoke to the group in Davis College of Business with gratitude.

“The PTDF could not have chosen a better university or a better city,” she said.

Chosen over Stanford University and Texas A&M University to become the first U.S partner in a program with PTDF, the Fund decided to collaborate with Jacksonville due to its aviation program, weather, culture and small size. March 12 signified the signing of an agreement that the Fund will pay all tuition and expenses for the inaugural 25 students in the program through the summer of 2016.

The Fund’s main goal to educate its country’s top young scholars in STEM-related fields supports JU’s efforts to strengthen global reach in higher education.

“This ceremony represents another step in Jacksonville University’s path in becoming a global impact player, not only for Jacksonville, Florida, but for the Southeast of the nation,” Cost said. “ Eighty- one years, we’ve graduated students from all 50 states and 92 foreign countries. Those are the flags that we proudly wave as you enter the Howard Administration Building, and those are the flags that stand behind us every graduation ceremony. We look forward to nurturing and teaching our newest cohort of students.”

Provost and Chief Academic Officer Wenying Xu, expressed to the students that they were joining a large body of international students from 13 countries, encouraging them that they have been preparing for their arrival for many years.

“JU has always valued global engagement and international interaction,” Xu said. “We believe that by sharing in actions and ideas, we can help everybody in facing the challenges that the world faces.”

Wolo agreed that JU shared a similar mission with PTDF. Since 1973, the Fund has held objectives to transfer technology and knowledge to students who will become leaders in Nigeria and abroad through the sharing of academic intelligence and cultural awareness between universities and the Nigerian students.

“Today marks the beginning of a new friendship, a dynamic relationship,” Wolo said.

Stevenson_Nigerian PTDF (8)

JU is confident that the University will be able to help the Nigerian students achieve these goals.

“We produce individuals who are world ready and work ready,” Xu said. “Being world ready, meaning they are educated in the liberal arts foundation. They are developed to be leaders, to be thinkers, and be better at communication. Work ready means we promote experiential learning. In internships, in service learning, and in undergraduate research, our students will be able to take on the world in their professions.”

David Abraham, a 20-year-old Nigerian student planning to study chemistry and international business, was grateful to have been chosen for the prestigious program.

“This is giving us a capacity to build our nation,” Abraham said. “We are adjusting to the time, the weather, and the food, and especially to the accents. We will be good ambassadors for JU.”

The aspiration to bring countries and universities together was shared on both pragmatic and devoted levels.

“It is a personal desire to make Jacksonville the city more international, make the university more global,” Xu said. “What we see here is truly a microcosm of the global village.”