Daily Trust (Abuja)

12 November 2012

Africa: World Bank Proposes African Centres of Excellence

The World Bank has proposed to make some universities in Nigeria Centres of Excellence for Africa.

Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, who welcomed participants to a consultative meeting in Abuja, said Centres of Excellence must be relevant to the needs of the country.

Okojie advised that an institution hosting a Centre of Excellence must have the relevant human and material resources required to sustain it.

He said these centres evolve over time and for an institution to qualify for such a centre, it must have existed for some years, with good learning facilities and quality research output.

The World Bank Chief Andreas Blom said the bank embarked on the African Centres of Excellence project because many countries on the continent had asked for support for their higher education.

For universities to qualify to have Centres of Excellence they must offer postgraduate programmes up to PhD level and must run programmes concentrate in at least one out of the three priority disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Health Sciences and Agricultural Sciences.

There will be regional call for proposals, between January and end of February next year.

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