Nigerian delegation visits Northeastern

More than a dozen members of the Nigerian National Assembly visited Northeastern on Friday to meet with a group of Nigerian students who are participating in a summer program on campus as part of the US Pathway Program.

Created by the Consortium of North American Universities—a group of seven institutions led by Northeastern—USPP is designed to help prepare students in Nigeria and China to enter a bachelor’s degree program at one of the member institutions. The Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta has pledged to fund the scholarships of those students who successfully complete the program and get accepted into one of the seven schools. The scholarships cover their tuition, fees, room, and board through the completion of their bachelor’s degree.

“This successful partnership reflects Northeastern’s commitment to global education through innovative programing like USPP,” Philomena Mantella, senior vice president of enrollment management and student life at Northeastern, said in her welcoming remarks at a dinner held on Friday for the delegation. “Programs like USPP are a direct reflection of the university’s global mission of expanding opportunities to students across the world.”

Students in the program echoed Mantella’s sentiments. “It’s just wonderful,” said Adetutu Adeyeni, who plans to enroll in Baylor University’s international studies program in the fall. “I didn’t expect it to be this good. The professors at Northeastern really care about us and push us to do our best.”

Adeyeni noted that she has enjoyed exploring Boston and interacting with Chinese students in the program who are teaching her how to speak in their native language.

Students who participate in USPP earn academic credits and spend a “summer bridge” term in the U.S. to help ease the transition to an American university. The students from China also receive comprehensive English preparation. Those who successfully complete the program can earn up to 33 semester hours of credit, allowing them to matriculate as sophomores after being accepted into the school of their choice. Some 126 Nigerian students—as well as 74 Chinese students—are currently participating in the “summer bridge” term at Northeastern.

The delegates who visited Northeastern, which included members of the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives, are part of the appropriations committee that decided the Nigerian government should pay the students’ way.

Many of the officials who spoke at the dinner noted that their investment appears to be paying off. “We believe in this program,” said Senator James Manager, chairman of the committee on Niger Delta. “This is a human capital investment, the wisest of all investments.”