“Spain Wants To Come To UNILAG”, Spanish Ambassador Declares At Courtesy Visit To Vice-Chancellor

The Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Juan Ignacio Sell, has disclosed the desire of Spain to have a manifest presence in the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

He disclosed this on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, during his courtesy visit to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, OON, FAS, at her office in the Senate House.

The ebullient diplomat was full of praise for the University of Lagos, as a top tertiary institution in Africa, and for Nigeria as a whole. He discussed with the University Management the desire of his country to partner with the University in many tangible ways, one of which is the mounting of a Spanish Language degree programme to complement the other European languages already in the curriculum.

“We desire that Spanish becomes increasingly part of the curriculum at the University of Lagos. Spain wants to come to UNILAG. We acknowledge the current efforts being made at teaching the language, and we desire that it becomes a formal, credit-earning elective course that students can take as part of their degree programmes. Spanish is easy to learn. People who invest their time and resources in learning it can gain mastery of it faster than they would learn other languages.”

Responding, the Vice-Chancellor expressed satisfaction with the Ambassador’s high rating of the University. She welcomed the idea of a more visible Spanish presence in UNILAG, underscoring the fact that it syncs well with the University’s internationalization agenda. She gave the Management’s commitment to do everything required to get the teaching of the Spanish language up to the degree-awarding level at the University.

Her words: “Indeed, Spanish is one of the most-spoken languages in the world, a United Nations official language that is well-represented in the United States. The country of Spain is geographically proximate to us and I wonder why we had not developed a closer relationship before now. What you propose sits well with our internationalization agenda and we assure you that we will work to get Spanish to a degree-awarding level here at UNILAG. There are many routes that we can explore to get to that destination. We will begin to do that now so that, by the next academic session, Spanish will be taught as a credit-awarding elective course, beginning from the Faculty of Arts.”

The Vice-Chancellor charged the duo of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics & Research), Prof. Bola Oboh and Director of Academic Planning, Prof. Matthew Ilori, to work out the fine details of the plan.
In other discussions, both leaders also considered empowerment programmes for women in research in Africa, which Spain is generously supporting.

The Spanish Ambassador also highlighted the increasing Afro-centric orientation of many Spanish universities and their willingness to come to Nigeria on admission drives. To that, the Vice-Chancellor offered the platform of the upcoming University of Lagos International Week, which is slated for October 21-25, 2024.

She expressed delight with the manifold opportunities for collaboration between the two parties and affirmed the readiness of the University to make the most of these opportunities for the advancement of its staff, students, and the Nigerian state.


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