BRIEF UPDATE ON LINKAGES WITH EXPERTS AND ACADEMICS IN THE DIAPORA SCHEME (LEADS)
The Linkages with Experts and Academics in the Diaspora Scheme was established by the National Universities Commission, starting in the academic year, 2007 to support the Federal Government efforts to transform the education sector.
The major aims of the LEADS are:
- To attract experts and academics of Nigerian extraction in the Diaspora on short term basis to contribute to the enhancement of education in the Nigerian University System.
- To create appropriate engagement-positions and job satisfaction for Nigerian academics and experts, so that they are not attracted away or wasted internally.
- To encourage healthy staff movements, interaction and collaboration across and between Nigerian Universities and other sector of education and National development, and
- Among other benefits, to encourage experts in industry to participate in teaching and research in Nigerian Universities.
To be sure of equitable participation, applications are invited from qualified Nigerian Experts and academics in the Diaspora who wish to serve at Nigerian Federal, state and Private Universities as Visiting Lecturers, Visiting Professors or Researchers over a period of three (3) months, six (6) months or twelve (12) months, respectively.
The criteria for such qualification include:
- Terminal Degree at Doctoral or Professional level (Ph.D, D.Sc, M.D, etc).
- At least 5 years experience in the relevant field
- Academic Teaching and/or Research Experience at a globally recognized university
- Article Publications in referred journals
- Other relevant skills, discoveries, patents or experience deemed useful in target fields or national development.
The scheme is limited to the following disciplines:
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
- Management Science and Business Administration
- Medicine and Dentistry
- Mining Engineering
- Natural Sciences
- Oil and Gas Engineering
To ensure the implementation of the LEADS programme, National Universities Commission coordinates and monitors the activities of the Scholar and the host University.
The Terms of this Scheme Include:
- Return Economy Class Air Ticket.
- Accommodation will be provided for the duration of stay in Nigeria by the host University.
- Local travel expenses relevant to the programme of activities will be taken care of by the host University.
- A monthly stipend of $2,500 per month
Since the inception of the NEADS (Nigerian Experts and Academics in Diaspora Scheme) which later metamorphosed to LEADS, about nineteen Scholars have been engaged and rendered services in various Universities in Nigeria.
Currently, there are 62 LEADS scholars on the Scheme out of which 16 Scholars are serving in NUC as Consultants and 46 are serving in various Universities. Also out of the 62 LEADS scholars, 34 are from the USA, 16 from UK, 3 from Canada, 2 from Ireland, 2 from Trinidad and Tobago, 2 from Netherland, 1 from Russia and 2 from West Indies. The Universities assigned includes: University of Ibadan, University of Calaber, University of Ilorin, University of Abuja, University of Maiduguri, University of Nigeria Nsukka, FUT Owerri, Bayero University Kano, University of Lagos, University of Benin, University of Jos, FUT Akure, Federal University Otuoeke, OAU Ile-efe and NOUN. State Universities in Uli, Ekpoma, Kaduna, Osun and Nassarawa also have scholars serving. Covenant University also has two LEADS scholars currently serving.
The LEADS programme has recorded many achievements including:
- Attracting Nigerian experts and academics in Diaspora back home to contribute to education system in Nigeria, which some of them have relocated permanently back to Nigeria.
- The programme has been able to create appropriate engagement-positions and job satisfaction for Nigerian academics and experts so that they will not be attracted away. That is, conversion from brain-drain to brain-gain.
- It has enhanced skills acquisition in rare areas of expertise. For instance, it has been able to bring an experts who provided support in the installation of Digital X-ray machine for panoramic and cephalmetric Radiographs in the Clinic.
- It has been able to encourage the experts in the industry to participate in teaching, research and cross fertilization in Nigeria Universities.
- Enrichment of our curriculum review process with modern, high tech and new trends in the relevant discipline.
- The programme has been able enhance re-union and re-integration of experts to their heritage and community life.