Nexford University, the next-generation university platform making quality US degree education accessible and affordable globally, celebrated the academic success of over 400 of its proud Nigerian students at its graduation ceremony held in Lagos at the weekend.
The celebrations kicked off with a week of special events for “Grad Week”, aimed at both Nexford graduates and the local community, including a chess competition in partnership with Chess in Slums which awarded the winner, Jamiu Ninilowo, a 100 per cent BBA scholarship, a laptop, and an internet modem to support his academic needs; a business case competition, judged by an expert panel, which awarded three lucky winners seed funding for their businesses; and a novelty football match of BBA vs MBA learners attended by Olympic gold medalist Taribo West.
Nexford graduates celebrated their academic success in style with a red carpet event at Lagos’ luxurious Oriental Hotel, attended by over 1000 graduates and friends and family, followed by a graduate procession led by the Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Cathy Plunkett, who congratulated them on their hard work, reflected on skills mastered, and discussed career opportunities for the future.
The ceremony included presentations from distinguished business leaders Dr. Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili – former Nigerian Minister of Education; Abubakar Suleiman – CEO, Sterling Bank Plc Nigeria; Dr. Joe Abah – Country Director, DAI: International development; and Adetayo Bamiduro, CEO and Cofounder of MAX. It was followed by an exclusive after party, with guest performances from renowned Nigerian figures Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and Teniola “Teni” Apata.
In his opening remarks at the ceremony, Fadl Al Tarzi, CEO and co-founder of Nexford University, said:
“In the future, the most successful people will be the those who embrace the fact that one’s physical location, gender and even race should no longer determine whether you can move ahead in your career.
The world has changed tremendously over the last few years, including how we learn and work. Remote work and learning has become a major part of our world, so those of us who embrace this new paradigm will be better positioned for success.
“The trend of online and remote work has been the catalyst behind Nexford’s mission from day one. It’s why we launched Nexford in 2019, and it’s what will propel the university, and all of you, to new heights in the future.”
In her speech, Nexford Country Director, Olamidun Majekodunmi-Ogundoyin, said:
“Today is a clear illustration that we are living up to our mission here in Nigeria which is to provide high-quality, accessible, and affordable education and positioning learners in front of unique, uplifting career opportunities- fostering post-degree upward mobility.”
The CEO of Sterling bank, one of Nexford’s biggest partners, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, also spoke at the event, highlighting why he was moved to partner with the online university. He explained that the university’s values aligned with his and the university presented a unique opportunity to upskill Sterling Bank staff and Nigerian youths.
The Lagos event precedes the main graduation ceremony, due to take place at the end of September in Nexford’s home city Washington D.C. The keynote speech will be given by Carlos Miguel Gutierrez, current Executive Chairman of EmPath, former United States Secretary of Commerce and former CEO of the Kellogg Company. The proud Nexford graduates will be treated to an exclusive tour of the Nation’s Capital featuring some of the most important landmarks in US history, highlighting the National Mall, Tidal Basin, and Capitol Hill.
From inception, Nexford has been designed to deliver a 100% online next-generation university experience, specifically to deliver high-quality – yet affordable – education to traditionally underserved English-speaking communities across the world. Nexford’s tech-enabled business model enables it to deliver education efficiently without compromising on quality; the average annual tuition for a Master’s degree from Nexford costs $2,400 – a fraction of the US national average of $36,000.
Nexford qualifications are also opening up significant recruitment opportunities for its graduates. Recent success stories include Onyinye Udoye, who completed his online MBA while in Nigeria with specializations in AI and Automation—two areas of increasing importance in today’s business world. His MBA gave him the right skills and insights to land a remote position at Microsoft.
This kind of success story backs up Nexford’s belief that when equipped with the right education people should be able to access quality, remote jobs regardless of where they are. Earlier this year, Nexford launched The Global Grid (TGG) mentorship program to enable talent around the world to prepare for remote jobs. The program will explore the specific skills employers are looking for and how people around the world can join this virtual, global talent grid.