By Emmanuel Edukugho
Fifty-seven students of Executive Business School (EBS) have been conferred with the degrees of Master of Science (MSC) Corporate Governance and MSC contemporary Accounting by Leeds Metropolitan University, UK at the Convocation ceremony held on Thursday July 16, 2009.

A cross section of graduands at the convocation ceremony.
A cross section of graduands at the convocation ceremony.

For MSC in Corporate Governance, out of 52 students representing 83% of the candidates presented by EBS, 3 made Distinctions and 12 graduated with Merits.

In respect of Contemporary Accounting, five students, representing 83% of the candidates had their MSc degree, with one (1) making Distinction while the other four (4) graduated with Merits.

The Director-General/CEO, EBS, Dr. Remilekun Bakare, in an interactive session, said the institution was incorporated in 2006 and commenced operation in 2007 in order to capitalise on a large and growing demand for academic programmes leading to British awards.

“EBS was formed among other reasons as a direct response to the need and desire to realise the potential of professional skills and learning in Nigeria. Our focus is in providing opportunities for those skills to be developed and recognised through the pursuit of quality undergraduate and postgraduate studies. A strong alignment with UK and European academic and professional institutions is the key strategy to the achievement of our aims.”

He described EBS as one of the largest independent Business Schools in Africa that has adopted a niche and highly focus mission of delivering a narrow range of law and business related academic and professional programmes which are in high demand but with limited provision in Nigeria.

EBS has articulation agreement with prestigious British Universities in order to fulfil its mission.

There is partnership with Bradford University Law School (BULS) to deliver part of its Bachelors in Law (LLB) with the students joining the final year students in Bradford in the third year, while the articulation agreement with Leeds Metropolitan University UK, covers the MSC Corporate Governance, MSC Contemporary Accounting, Master in Laws (LLM) and Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA).

“The modus operandi is that EBS delivers part of the academic award in Lagos while students subsequently complete their studies with the linked British University with advanced standing.”

Bakare added that the MSC Corporate Governance is recruiting the 5th Cohort, the MSC Accounting 3rd Cohort, LLB 3rd Cohort while the LLM and DBA are new additions admitting first cohorts in September, 2009.

According to him, EBS has brought a new way of study-combining full time work with academics. Not leaving your work to study. “Have your job and still get your international qualifications. It’s like eating your cake and having it.”

He disclosed being present at the convocation ceremony in England, and that the University was impressed by the quality of EBS students, who have become good ambassadors of Nigeria. On why EBS students excelled, he said: “English Language is the normal mode of communication, which is not so with other foreign students. Hence we’re doing well.”

The school’s only undergraduate programme  is LLB Law because it is a professional course, meant for mature people who already hold other qualifications and not for students coming directly from the high schools. Bakare foreclosed the possibility of having more foreign universities as partners.

“For now, too many won’t work. You crawl before walking. Get this one well and then can look for more.”
He clarified that EBS is not and cannot be a University. “The school offers opportunity to Nigerians to acquire international qualifications without resigning from their jobs. If we transform into University, it will negate our purpose. That’s the concept.”

As to the LLM programme, this is mainly research work. Candidates travel to UK, stay in the University for one week, do research methods and come back home to write their dissertations. The programme is good for judges, state counsel, etc.

Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) will be ideal for holders of MBA which has become a terminal qualification in Nigeria.

MBA holders can be able to progress and obtain DBA by travelling to UK for a period, do research and return to write the thesis for the award of the Doctorate.

In respect of Corporate Governance, there is no such programme in Nigeria, which is supposed to be in the front burner now, considering the high rate of business failures.

“It had been a successful masters degree programme. Two P.hd holders came for the degree. It attracted high flyers and high profile people. Most companies are failing today because of lack of corporate governance,” Bakare pointed out.

He summed up saying that EBS is building tomorrow’s corporate leaders, and people won’t appreciate now what the school is doing, but in few years time, they will thank EBS.

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