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Nexford stresses need to prepare graduates for workplace

Nexford University has emphasised the need to produce graduates that can match up with demands of the labour market.

According to officials of the next-generation university, producing graduates that match the requirements of the workplace remains a top priority.

Speaking, Nexford University’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Fadl Al Tarzi, said lack of required skills was an impediment for many youths to secure their desired jobs.

“With the rapid advancement of tech, skills are the only barrier between ambitious youths across the world and attractive economic opportunities. Our next-generation university focuses on precisely this,” Al Tarzi said.

“Worldwide, young people are three times more likely than their parents to be out of work. Jobless levels of 25 per cent or more are common in Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. In the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, more than one in eight of all 15 to 24-year-olds are not in employment, education, or training.

“Around the world, the International Labour Organisation estimates that 75 million young people are unemployed. Including estimates of underemployed youth would potentially triple this number. This represents not just a gigantic pool of untapped talent; it is also a source of social unrest and individual despair,” a statement from the university read.

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It also added, “At Nexford, skills are the new currency. The university surveyed Fortune 500 companies and analysed millions of job vacancies to create a curriculum that delivers on the skills in highest demand. Nexford’s relevant, online educational model, therefore, addresses the systemic skill-gaps. Its students master the skills they need for day one at work, such as how to present a business strategy.

“In addition, students pay flat-fee monthly tuition similar to a monthly phone bill, which is designed to be less of a burden. Students are never locked into a long-term commitment and pay the same monthly fee, regardless of number of courses or credits. The faster you finish the less you pay.”

On her part, Olamidun Majekodunmi, Nexford’s Manager in Nigeria, urged local universities to abandon the legacy approach and educate students based on the skills workplaces seek.

Majekodunmi said, “Solutions like Nexford are welcomed and I look forward to tracking success stories. Critically informed by employer needs in order to create a direct-to-employer pipeline, Nexford is designing a competency-based, intuitive learning system that caters to each individual learner.”

She also advised Nigerian universities to adopt responsive approach as practised by Nexford.

“For Nigeria, this is an especially hard-hitting realisation. There are 34 million Nigerians who are unemployed or underemployed. We have a spiking population and an even higher spiking youth population, yet our higher education practices remain irresponsive to this looming catastrophe,” Majekodunmi said.

“Nigerian graduates are not lazy but are unprepared for the workplace. Major themes surrounded the fact that graduates are not well equipped with the soft and hard skills required to operate in today’s dynamic work environment.

“Nexford University is doing our bid to change this,” she added.

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