MacArthur today awarded nearly US$5 million to academic centers at three Nigerian universities to prepare graduates to address national development challenges. The support will help build national expertise in key disciplines, broaden the universities' connections with the public and private sectors, and help them network with other universities in Africa and beyond. An emphasis will be placed on recruiting women into these new academic programs.
"MacArthur's support of Nigerian higher education is based on the belief that robust universities and intellectual freedom are essential to developing and sustaining healthy, economically vibrant, democratic societies," said Kole Shettima, MacArthur's Nigeria Office Director. "Support to these specific departments will help position these universities to address national challenges in such critical areas as health, energy, and economic planning."
The University of Ibadan received three grants totaling US$2.88 million.
Ahmadu Bello University received two grants totaling nearly US$1 million:
The University of Port Harcourt received one grant totaling US$990,000 for its Institute of Petroleum Studies. The grant will be used to establish a new program in petroleum geosciences to train graduate students and conduct research in support of exploration of oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Guinea, the frontier for oil and gas exploration in the region. The program, which will be set up with support from government, the private sector, and academic partners, is designed to help improve the production and distribution of oil and gas in the region.