-Anietie Udobit, Abuja
The strategic partnership between the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and the University of Sao Paulo Brazil kick-off as the first set of Nigerian scholars to benefit from the partnership departed Nigeria last week to commence higher degree Studies and research in Petroleum Engineering and related courses in that university.
The scholars numbering 17 are made up of eight (8) PhD’s and (nine) 9 Msc students. They constitute the pilot batch of the PTDF/ University of Sao Paulo strategic collaboration developed to harness the opportunities offered by the Brazilian academic system and their leadership in global oil and gas knowledge and research.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between PTDF and USP was signed last year proposing to establish mutual co-operation in the conduct of academic projects in teaching, research and community service.
The historic agreement specifically provides that there will be no tuition fees applied to PTDF Scholars for the duration of their studies in the University of Sao Paulo, and this is regarded as a milestone achievement by PTDF.
At a brief induction ceremony, prior to their departure, the Executive Secretary, PTDF Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau said that, forging global partnerships in the training of PTDF Scholars will enable the Fund to continue to deliver world class education and achieve better value for money in the conduct of its programmes.
He described the pioneer set of scholars as exceptionally lucky to have the first opportunity of being exposed to one of the leading universities in the world with cutting edge technology in the oil and gas sector.
Dr Gusau urged them to be conscious of their mission to Brazil as pioneering students of the PTDF-University of Sao Paulo strategic partnership, and should therefore be good ambassadors of Nigeria and PTDF in their conduct.
“You must at all times be conscious of why you are there, not only are you going to represent Nigeria as a country, but you are also going to represent PTDF as pioneering students of an education partnership agreement. How you behave, how you conduct yourself in that country will determine the fate of this programme”.
The University of Sao Paulo is ranked among the best fifty (50) Petroleum and Sub-sea engineering institutions in the world.
The commencement of studies by PTDF scholars in the university is a major step at implementing one of the priorities of the new strategic direction agenda guiding the Fund’s capacity building interventions, which emphasizes the development of more partnerships between PTDF and foreign universities offering reduced or tuition free post graduate academic programmes.