The Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), Calabar has a proud history. The secret of this pride is its ability to be at the cutting edge of robust academic scholarships and policy, such as CRUTECH first started entrepreneurship training programmes long before the National University Commission made it a compulsory requirement for all Nigerian Universities. In this light, the Entrepreneurship, International Relations and Development (EIRD) Centre focuses on building on the University’s reputation, re-invigorating collaboration / entrepreneurial spirit and developing enterprise in theory and practice; and thereby enhance the mission and vision establishing EIRD Centre (CRUTECH).
MISSION AND VISION
The Centre’s mission is to re-engineer the mindsets of the different communities in CRUTECH, especially students to use skills and knowledge, with a view to cultivate a pattern of entrepreneurial behaviour that goes beyond the simple act of buying and selling and applicable to the private and public sectors. In this sense, the vision is to evidently find CRUTECH communities combining their education and talents in making a living for themselves, and contributing to growing and re-balancing the Nigerian economy in general and Cross River State economy in the particular.
In line with CRUTECH’ vision, the Centre supports linkages between the Cross River University of Technology and other tertiary research Centres in the context of an increasingly globalising and interdependent world. As a matter of fact, collaboration effort in research and policy has been developed by the visit of the representatives of the State of Maryland (USA) and CUSO team to CRUTECH (Calabar Campus) in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Following on from their visits, CRUTECH has opened discussions - initiated by the Cross River State Government - with the University of Maryland (USA), Bowie State University (USA), and North Carolina A and T State University. Furthermore, a forum for collaborative exchange between CRUTECH and Wayne State University (USA) was organized by the NUC (Abuja) in 2013. The proposed synergy with Wayne University has roots in the field of engineering that meet our basic needs, such as technical and soft skills that will help create the ‘College of Engineering 3+2 programmes’ and tech-parks in CRUTECH.
The EIRD Centre’s organogram (see: next page) covers a vast range of research, learning / teaching and community engagement relating to CRUTECH’s core strengths in problem-solving including, but not limited to:
• Entrepreneurship, Governance and development: new issues and Actors in the Twenty-first Century;
• Technology, Cybercrime and Energy debates;
• Climate Change and Environmental sustainability;
• Poverty and Conflict – since both are in a mutually reinforcing relationship; and
• Seminar Series for Undergraduate students and Roundtables for Postgraduate and Doctoral students.
These interlocking themes and activities distinctly situate CRUTECH on the front burner of rigorous contemporary scholarships and collaborative programmes, and hence a window for funding / grants applications.
Finally, we at the EIRD Centre share the University’s commitment - driven by the Vice Chancellor – to help students, support government and Private sector to implement ‘out-of-box’ solution and strategic choices. Hence, through internet discussions and printed materials, the EIRD Centre (CRUTECH) is a market place of ideas, an arena of debates and innovation.
Nelson Takon, Ph.D (London)