The United States Consulate in Nigeria says no fewer than 14,000 Nigerians are currently studying in American universities.
The U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Lagos, Stephen Ibelli, disclosed this on Tuesday at the inauguration of the” Window on America” centre located at Osun University Teaching Hospital, Oshogbo.
The “Window on America” is an initiative of the Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Lagos, which provides the public free access to connect and learn about the United States through programmes and lectures, as well as through books, movies, and magazines.
Ibelli said the number of Nigerians studying in America was an indication of how Nigerians value strong education.
“Indeed, we have almost 14,000 Nigerians studying in America and this is not by accident.
“This is because Nigerians and Nigerian families believe in strong education.
“They push their kids to a strong education. American universities offer world-class education,” he said.
On the Window on America platform, Ibelli said it would serve as a community resource center for accurate and current information about the political, economic, cultural, educational, and social life in the United States.
He said that the new space would offer a calendar of programmes on topics of interest designed to bring Americans and Nigerians closer together.
Ibelli also said the centre would enable the public to connect to universities in America to do research for their masters and doctorates for free.
“We are so excited today to launch the Window on America here in Osogbo.
“This is the delivery process because it is difficult to travel here and from one place to another.
“And that is why we want to bring a little bit of consulate, a little bit of America mission, a little bit of mission in Nigeria to the public.
“With its modern design, computer workstations, books, and perhaps most importantly, an open space for members of the community to host conversations of mutual interest, the new centre exemplify the U.S. government’s commitment to a core tenet of democracy, a citizen’s right to free access to information,” Ibelli said.
He explained that the Window on America in Osogbo would be a reference point for free information.
“Through the Osogbo Window on America, we will provide employability and leadership training for young people, offer information on study opportunities in the U.S., showcase American culture and values, as well as foster closer people-to-people ties between the people of Nigeria and the United States,” Ibelli added.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director, Osun State University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Peter Olaitan, said that Window on America is an initiative of the Public Affairs Section-US Embassy, Lagos, to foster mutual understanding and respect between Nigeria and the United States.
He said the window provides welcoming environments where visitors could connect and learn about the United States through programmes and lectures, as well as through books, movies, and magazines.
“It provides educational advice for those who want to study in the United States and also information on how to handle visa-related questions.
“It also organises workshops on a range of topics such as health career and skills to English Language learning,” he said.
Olaitan also appreciated the U.S. Consulate on the location of the facility at the hospital premises.
“I appreciate the American Embassy in Nigeria for giving the opportunity to have such a system in place not just for our staff and students but for numerous citizens of our state.
“I want to urge our students and staff to make the best use of this American information center that has been domiciled in our hospital,” he said.