“IIAS Helped me find my Voice at the 2018 Ife Summer Institute”

“IIAS Helped me find my Voice at the 2018 Ife Summer Institute”

“IIAS Helped me find my Voice at the 2018 Ife Summer Institute”
Barr. Oluwatosin Olanrewaju-Elufowoju (2018 Fellow)
Faculty of Law
Redeemers’ University, Ede, Osun State, Nigeria.

A cursory look at the current state of tertiary education in Africa, and in particular Nigeria certainly leaves much to be desired. While accusatory fingers may be pointed at the current state of leadership, governance, educational system, funding, and the deteriorating economic situation, the blame must be shared across all stakeholders. Also, it is all stakeholders, home and abroad, that must collaborate to save the situation.
For budding scholars to realize their full potential, they must be ready and willing to build capacity through necessary academic networking and research skill acquisition to enhance their capacity to carry out cutting-edge research. These Scholars must also submit to proper mentoring through reliable, tested, and effective platforms that are positioned to facilitate vertical and horizontal connections among scholars. One such medium is the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Arts and Sciences, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, popularly referred to as the Ife Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS-IFE).

The Institute’s objectives include training and mentoring scholars who would become future leaders and break new frontiers in academia to reorient and restructure the current state of the educational system. The Ife Institute of Advanced Studies is arguably the non-tertiary academic institution tailored towards such a vision in Nigeria. Since its inauguration in 2017, the Institute has set the pace in producing Fellows who are keen and committed to positively transforming the face of tertiary education in Africa. The Institute currently has more than 500 fellows from across Africa and the world who have attended the 2-week intensive training. The Institute’s fellows are from virtually all the continents with the majority from Africa, North America, Asia, Europe, and the United Kingdom.

As an early career scholar, I needed this exposure to develop and realize my potential. Becoming a Fellow of IIAS in 2018 certainly opened for me opportunities for academic networking, research, mentoring, and collaboration. This broadened and sharpened my mind to think even more scientifically and critically. Now, I have improved my analytical reasoning, and have developed a knack for thinking innovatively in all areas of my life. Summarily, IIAS helped me find my voice.

Let me attempt to describe what the annual summer institute looks like. The two-week summer institute features workshops, lectures, plenaries, excursions, pitches, and of course, the food. Every aspect of the programme screamed excellence. The rich display of high-level thinking, scholarship, global exposure, and creative pedagogy all combine to give you an unforgettable experience. Both general and specialised topics are covered during the summer institute. The general topics focus on broad skills and technicality of being a scholar including – academic (proposals, grants, scientific papers, books, and book contributions, etc) writing, conducting archival research, academic ethics and virtues, designing research methodologies, transcultural pedagogy, academic networking, self-pitches, academic leadership, gender research, teaching entrepreneurship, and developing a teaching philosophy among others. Both the specialized and general topics were handled by the best and brightest senior scholars, and I am not exaggerating. Imagine that you are being taught by the same theorists and experts that you read for your research!

Regardless of your field of study, IIAS summer institute will accommodate you and equip you for global scholarship. One of the amazing takeaways is that theories come to life, and you see research as a potpourri of research and practice. You leave with less theory and more practical approaches to issues underlining global scholarship. IIAS Summer Institute is a very intensive, interactive, and advanced platform if you are considering a career in academia, research, or public policy.

I have approached research and intellectual conversations with even more confidence since I attended the IIAS Summer Institute. Also, I see myself more as a researcher with significance and that is a part of a global picture, that is building a nation, and not just as a researcher who is trying to find her way and make ends meet. Yes, IIAS helps you see yourself as a Scholar with a burden of responsibility for society and the world. So, at once, you begin to understand that your education is not just for you, but for your society and that understanding informs which research interests you, and how you approach them.

I think you should apply to attend the 2024 Ife Summer Institute! IIAS helped me find myself and my voice, I am sure that she can help you do the same!

Edited by: Oladimeji Ogunoye

Categories: Uncategorized

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