Portsmouth varsity seeks collaboration with space centre on research, capacity building

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Satellite in space
Satellite in space

By Ijeoma Olorunfemi

University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom has sought collaboration  with the Centre for Satellite Technology Development (CSTD) to boost research and build capacity for the development of the centre.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Chris Chang, disclosed this when he paid a visit to Prof. Spencer Onu, Director, CSTD in Abuja.

CSTD is an activity centre of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) in Abuja.

Chang, who is on a four-day visit to Nigeria said his visit was also to honour Onu and some other Nigerians, as University of Portsmouth graduates and Alumni Association members, for impacting on the university and Nigerians.

Prof. Spencer Onu, receiving his honour of recognition from Prof. Chris Chang, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Portsmouth.

Chang said that the university, in the next three years, would be exploring areas of collaborating with Nigeria in line with their mandate and also avail Nigerian students the opportunity of distance learning.

He said: “One of the areas we will be looking, at a wider range of collaboration, is in the capacity building.

“We now have Postgraduate study programme, whereby staff can now carry on with their day to day job and do the research at the same time.

“They don’t have to spend their time in the UK; they will just spend 12 weeks of their time in the UK against over a four-year and get their certification.

“Our ambition is to grow our profile as a truly global institution with diverse international community and a track record of worldwide collaboration in research, teaching and innovation.

“We want our students to be global graduates, who take the skills they have learned to every corner of the planet.

“We will also continue pursuing opportunities to enhance the global profile, reach, standing and status of our research and teaching.

“We are looking for partners, potential collaboration but we are taking our time because we need a partnership that works,” he said.

He said that the institution was expanding its global communities of learners through transnational education with key strategic partners and providing opportunities for worldwide access to a Portsmouth education, through digital delivery.

The pro vice-cancellor said that students would have to put the skills they learnt to work, instantly in their job to make impact.

Chang also said that through such global expansion, the university would give its on-campus students access to global communities through exchange programmes, internships, placements, volunteering and digital collaboration.

Receiving the visitor, Onu said that the over 20 year-old Nigerian space programme got support from the UK in the building of some of its satellites adding that would want extension of such collaboration.

“CSTD is still in the process of capacity building and we hope to work with the university in that area.

“We need collaboration for capacity building for certified programmes in Masters degree, post graduate programmes and we hope that the university will offer some incentives to these programmes.

“We believe that in our space programme, CSTD has a lot to gain from the university and we encourage our Nigerians that want quality education, in education and research, to consider Portsmouth university,” he said.

He recalled that NASRDA had seven activity centres with different mandates toward developing the space programme in the country, adding that some would benefit from the university.

NAN also reports that some other individuals honoured by the institution include, Mr Lai Yahaya, Senior Special Adviser on Strategy to President Muhammadu Buhari and Dr Aliyu Hamza of the National Boundary Commission.

Others are: Mr Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police and Mr Mba Kalu, former University of Portsmouth Alumni President.


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