Updated: Jul 7, 2021
This week we mark yet another milestone in the Academy’s development. With Binta joining the Academy’s internship program through Pagoda Projects, she has made it her mission to make this opportunity available to more African students. Apart from the amazing work she has been doing through her internship, she has gone beyond that and took the lead to reach out to various universities across Africa to discuss partnerships with Tianmei’s World Academy.
A first meeting was held on the 22nd of June, 2021 via Zoom and the topic of the discussion revolved around the experience for degree and master students in African universities.
Attending the meeting were: Dr. Salome Waziri (Federal University of Technology Minna) , Dr. Ibrahim Aku (Federal University of Technology Minna), Emmanuel Shaba, Jenom Oluwatosin Jeremiah, Emmanuel James Tumba, Mercy Shaba, Henry Emmanuel, Eudora Pius, Oladimeji Oloruntobi Divine, Dathan Ejele, Comfort Agbmadalo Yakubu, Nathan Shekwoagami Yakubu, Noah Awyetu Yakubu, Stephen Emenike Chilotam, Dr. Ayuba Larry (BOWEN University), Ovye Musah Yohanna (University Jos, Plateau State) and Israel Joshua (ICSI International Cyber Security Institutes UK).
During the meeting, Binta made a brief introduction on what Tianmei’s World Academy is, explaining that the Academy is the first decentralized "network of classrooms” school concept, using environmental psychology knowledge to redefine where and how learning happens.
Binta opened the discussion about the Research Internship Program during the meeting, while highlighting that, the program aims to support students regardless of their location and nationalities. She further explained that another aim of the online meeting was to reach out to various students from different countries in Africa and Europe and understand more the concerns they might have about their career prospects after graduation. During the meeting, the students from African universities, identified on the job experience before and after graduation as a serious challenge that needs to be addressed by identifying possible solutions.
Mr. Israel, a student and Mr. Larry a teacher, both agreed that a remote internship in the life of a student is vital as such engagement will empower and provide the student with competitive and comparative background experience ahead of school graduation, especially in this Covid19 period, where it is almost impossible for people to continue with face to face interaction.
Mr. Israel continued to mention that most organizations still conduct their daily activities virtually due to Covid19, leading to shortage in the availability of space for offline internship programs. However, he suggested that an international internship program could be a possible solution to the lack of on the job experience among graduate students in African universities. Graduate students attending the meeting also agreed that, having remote access to summer program (Internship) globally will obviously create a balance in the educational system.
Similarly, Binta continued to say that as a result of the growing need for young adults aged 16-29 to enter the labour market globally, there is a dire need for a comprehensive training approach. However, this is an area where education, social and labour market policies have key roles to contribute (Calvo, 2017; OECD, 2015). Therefore, one of the important gift we can provide our students, is the ability to learn and build the right capacities while they are still pursuing their university studies. Having the right capacity and experience opens a world of opportunities and possibilities that empowers, change and liberate an individual (Brassell and Rasinski, 2008).
Another conclusion of the meeting was that a reasonable numbers of Nigerian students generally participate in internship programs and this trend is only about to become more prominent. However, being able to participate in an international internship program will support and enable these students to access the required background experience. This is true especially for students who are about to graduate and join the workforce or settle down in their own businesses. Hence, it is of essence for these graduate students, regardless of their location and nationalities to have access to such engaging experience that will offer them a more competitive advantage.
Finally, the meeting was concluded by agreeing that the Research Internship Program will create a balance among students in different schools, avails students globally with equal opportunities on experience and capacity for competitive advantage, good performance, result, as well as address several other social issues connected to experiences of international students (Calvo, 2017).
Throughout the meeting some additional comments, concerns and solutions were raised from participants:
Dr. Larry (BOWEN University)
· Requested, Tianmei’s World Academy to update participants with more information on the procedure.
· Any special grade required from students for the internship program
· How soon can the program start?
Dr. Ibrahim (Federal University of Technology Minna)
· First of all commended the program for its relevance to students as in most cases, internship is done at irrelevant organizations just to fulfill all righteousness.
· since there is no doubt about the relevance and interest of students and institution about the opportunity, how can the program get started at once and what is required to access it
· As an advocate of students writing their project in line with areas of internship experience. Can intern student write such projects? If yes, then how is the student supervision done. Supervisors are usually attached to students from the department.
· The need to hold next zoom meeting in not less than a week time. This will allow for consultation with stakeholders and bottlenecks associated with such consultations
Mr. James (Federal University of Technology Minna)
· Asked for the cost implication from students’ side and also who will support with the entire arrangement.
Mr. Israel (ICSI International Cyber Security Institutes UK)
· Shared his experience during the undergraduate internship which further emphasizes the skill gap between the industries and the student during and after graduation.
As next steps, it was agreed that:
· The entire participant welcomed this idea and hoping the program will start soon.
· The meeting was brought to a close with plans to come up with further meeting in about 10-2wks from that very day.
This is all for now on the progress that the Academy has done with regards to the Research Internship Program. If you want to stay updated with our progress, then don’t hesitate to Subscribe to our newsletter.
If you are a final year university student and want to know more about the Academy’s Research Internship Program, then you are welcome to click here.
Brassell, D. and Rasinski, T., 2008. Comprehension that works: Taking students beyond ordinary understanding to deep comprehension. Teacher Created Materials.
Malet Calvo, D., 2018. Understanding international students beyond studentification: A new class of transnational urban consumers. The example of Erasmus students in Lisbon (Portugal). Urban Studies, 55(10), pp.2142-2158.
Mundy, K., Green, A., Lingard, B. and Verger, A. eds., 2016. Handbook of global education policy. John Wiley & Sons.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2015. Education policy outlook 2015: Making reforms happen. Paris: OECD Publishing.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2015. OECD skills outlook 2015: Youth, skills and employability. OECD, Paris, France.
Edited by: Adina
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