The founder and Chancellor of the proposed STARS University (Sports, Technology, Arts and Research Science University), Idumuje Ugboko, Delta State. Hon. Dr. Prince Ned Nwoko, Saturday, 27th April, 2019, hinted that the university will partner with the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, FUPRE, to provide quality university education with requisite knowledge to drive development and economy of the country to accelerated level. The international legal luminary and senator elect for Delta north, dropped the hint while addressing the university community on the occasion of the award of honorary doctor of science degree to him by the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun. On this vexed national issue, the visionary Prince shared the opinion that academic and research collaborations are very valuable tool that not only accelerates the progress, economic growth and development of a country, but also enhances the quality of education offered by the institutions to the citizens of the country.

His words, “academic collaboration is beneficial to universities in learning new teaching tools, exchange of ideas, collaboration in research works and enthronement of a lasting sports culture within their various campuses and the country at large.” He further added, “all these add up, will increase the breadth and knowledge of students in learning different approaches to solving their individual problems and contributing their quoter towards meeting national challenges.

“This tool is being increasingly utilised with success in developed countries. Good examples where such partnerships are been implemented are the the Ivy League universities in the United States of America, the Oxbridge and the Golden Triangle universities in the United Kingdom, the C9 League universities in China, the Group of Eight universities in Australia, and the Imperial Universities in Japan. These universities have evolved strong culture through partnership in many areas which have helped to placed them top among the best universities in the world and also placed their countries at high pedestal in technological advancement, economic and sports development.” Prince Ned Nwoko, emphasized.

He went on to say, “under the prevailing conditions of paucity of funds in the Nigerian universities,  university authorities must have a well-planned partnership and collaborative approach in a manner that will enable them put available resources into maximum use.””Partnership and collaboration must be embraced, emphasised, encouraged and brought to a level where it can impact and improve the quality, resources and capabilities of Nigerian institutions to undertake research to find solutions to the numerous challenges facing the country.” He advised.

In conclusion, Prince Ned Nwoko said, “an academic culture that fosters partnerships and cooperation instead of individualism must be embraced to improve quality of education offers as well as accelerate progress and development of the country”.

The above quote, summarised the views of our visionary Prince on this burning national issue. That is why he is needed at the Senate, to give the Red Chamber sense of direction and initiate great ideas that will help the country out of her perennial socioeconomic predicaments.

By Iroroh Frank.