Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell is going global with its first international recruitment office in Nigeria.
Dakota Wesleyan is hoping to capitalize on partnerships with one of Africa’s fastest-growing countries.
Dakota Wesleyan has a long history of hosting international students. Dr. John Ifediora graduated from Dakota Wesleyan in 1979. After working as a professor in the University of Wisconsin System, he’s now on faculty at American University in D.C. He’s also leading Dakota Wesleyan’s first international recruitment office in his home country.
Dakota Wesleyan President Amy Novak says Ifediora is part of a group of alumni who are part of this new recruitment effort.
“And they came to me with this concept of opening an international recruitment office in Abuja, Nigeria. And so this has been a wonderful opportunity for us to both reconnect with our alumni base, as well as to leverage their experience as leaders in those countries as well as leaders in global economic development.”
Novak says many universities look first to China for their international recruitment, but the current political climate is making that difficult. As African countries become larger players in the global economy, she says a country like Nigeria provides an opportunity to increase enrollment and build partnerships.
“Some of the projections suggest it may be the third largest country in the world in the next decade. The necessity of continuing to invest in human capital for the Nigerian government as well as the Nigerian business enterprises has become pivotal.”
Novak adds bringing students from other countries to Mitchell also provides South Dakota students an opportunity to engage with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
“So we see this as even bigger than just a recruitment strategy. It’s much more about how can we share ideas and model collaboration and learning, and what partnerships might be able to exist that strength both parts of Africa as well as Dakota Weslyan and our region.”
Dakota Wesleyan is planning to open a second recruitment office in Kenya in January.