Nexford University, an online university based in Washington D.C., U.S., has launched its mentorship programme called "Global Grid" in Nigeria. Nexford offers accredited degree programmes at a flexible pace.
It uses Global Grid to groom and enable talents worldwide to prepare for remote jobs. The programme's target is to expand awareness around the millions of online jobs, and the skills learners need to qualify for these jobs.
The initiative includes experts in different fields, including healthcare, finance, education, human resources, and insurance sectors, mentoring selected learners through publicly available webinars and personal coaching. The programme focuses on what employers are looking for.
Nexford said the Global Grid idea comes from its belief that talents can access opportunities and jobs irrespective of location, gender, race, or social status when equipped with the right skills and education.
For Nigeria, the university said Global Grid Nigeria aims at developing talents and promoting the personal, professional, and social success of its learners in the country.
"In Nigeria, Nexford has pioneered programs connecting learners to employers with its successful cooperation with Sterling Bank. With 87% of global employers facing skills gaps, over the coming decade, the majority of global employers will have remote teams," said Nexford's CEO, Fadl Al Tarzi, in a statement sent to one of Prime Progress' editors.
"These shifts are going to transform career prospects of learners in Nigeria and across the world. Mentorship through the 'Global Grid' initiative is going to help Nexford's Nigerian learners get on this global grid and prepare them for future careers."
The Nigerian chapter comprises four mentors. These include Ola Brown, founder of Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company, a healthcare and wellness investment firm with a previous role at the British National Health Service; and Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, Managing Director of The Education Partnership Centre – Nigeria's pioneer education partnership organization specializing in research, design, implementation, support and evaluation of education programs and initiatives across various sectors of the economy.
Others are: Yemi Faseun, the Chief Talent Officer of Y.F. Talent Partners, a human resources consulting, leadership, and culture transformation firm; and Gbenga Totoyi, a partner at Lagos-based Alan&Grant consultancy firm.
Nexford was founded in 2019, and the launch of Global Grid in Nigeria coincides with its third anniversary.
"We have been meticulous in selecting suitable mentors and inspiring thought leaders to drive the program and share their leadership experience and knowledge. It is a perfect complement to our existing offering, and we are delighted to announce it as we celebrate our third anniversary," said Jennifer Bangoura, Nexford's Director of Career Innovation.
Nexford said the Nigerian launch "will add value" to its "already strong" community in Nigeria, where the university has been partnering with Sterling Bank as part of its Nexford for Talent (N4T) program.
"As part of the agreement, Sterling Bank underwrites students loans and provides learning scholarships and internships during studies, while in turn benefitting from access to graduates with skills specifically tailored to its corporate needs," it said. "Since the programme's start, 209 of Sterling Bank's employees have enrolled in Nexford degree programs, with 61 Sterling Bank MBA graduates as of January 2022."
Meanwhile, Nigeria's former minister of education, Obiageli ("Oby") Ezekwesili, sits on Nexfords board of directors.