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Monday, 23 May 2022

Solutions to the Problems Encountered While Making Payment to WES [NAIRALAND, GOOGLE, EVALUATION]

Solutions to the Problems Encountered While Making Payment to WES

Almost everyone who tried to make payment to WES for the evaluation of their results encounter some problems while trying to make their payment; the most common of these problems is the payment not going through and the payment platform not giving an explicit reason as to why the payment keeps failing. In the most everyday words, I want to address these problems now hoping somebody who needs this information would find it useful.

If you have been trying to make your WES payment and it’s been unsuccessful, I need you to know that the factor that is most likely causing this problem is the fact that WES has a quota of payments they (can) receive per day, and when the quota of a certain day has been reached, no matter how hard and harder you try, you efforts to make your evaluation payment to WES would not go through. So if you have been trying all day today, just take a break and try again tomorrow but earlier now; other things being in their right places, you would record success if you can meet up with the day’s quota.

Another common factor that could cause problems for you while trying to make your WES payment is the bank card you are using; contrary to how a lot of people think you must have a Dollar  card to be able to make payments to WES, you do not have to! Your Naira card can do the job just fine so long you are using any of the card types the platform accepts. Only that this issue of Nigerian banks having a lot of CBN procedures on any fund getting wired abroad and in foreign currencies makes the banks have problems with approving funds easily. So, this might cause you to keep trying several times before your payment to WES goes through.

These are the two factors people have repeatedly called us to ask questions on, and also the problems we have encountered a couple of times while trying to make WES payments for our clients. Just either keep trying so you can meet up with the quota of another day or change the card you are trying to use to make the payment to WES, you would have “payment successful” soon. We wish you the best of luck in this endeavour, but if you need anything at all ranging from your WES issues to your transcript issues, or other documents you need, please contact us on +2348139534187 or


Monday, 16 May 2022


 The Next Things for OAU Aspirants Now that they have Passed their UTME

At this time when OAU is on almost 100% shutdown—to mean most of the workers’ unions in the university are on strike and most of the usual processes and activities in the university are currently off, what should a proactive OAU aspirant do so as it wouldn’t be like they have passed UTME and they just want to wait as others till OAU says something—which is dangerous? Yearly, I always advise OAU aspirants to never have a reason to wait till OAU says something about post-UTME before they start making moves about their admission processes; there are thousands  (if not millions) of UTME applicants who chose OAU as their choice of school, but the 200/400 total UTME score required by OAU for an aspirant to qualify for their post-UTME cuts the competition down by lots of thousands to fewer thousands who will also have to compete in the post-UTME before the school’s departments would give out their cutoff marks to cut more thousands of applicants off to the level of having just a few hundreds or less per department. This would mean that from the level of picking up a UTME form and choosing OAU, to the level of admission, being an OAU aspirant would mean that you are competing with thousands of people who want the same thing you want, and there are a lot of things you must do differently and better to be what determines whether you win in the competition or you lose in it.

Picking the most suitable subject combination for your choice of course, scoring high in the UTME, scoring high in the post-UTME, etc. are factors that would necessarily increase your chances of winning in the competition (getting admitted). Added to these would be the fact that knowing who you should know and doing some underground “leg works” would increase your chances of winning in the competition (getting admitted) and winning how you want (getting the course you most desire). The implication of this is that scores alone aren’t enough to guarantee your admission (please note that I didn’t say high score would not get you an admission in OAU, I only said knowing the right people and doing what they need you to do, meticulously and on time would increase your chances of getting admitted). Please decipher this information properly and talk to somebody who knows better about it.

As at now that the school is on strike and most applicants would be waiting for when the school comes back on before they can start making moves on their admission processes, I’d advise an OAU aspirant to:

1). rather be proactive and start preparing for the post-UTME already, as OAU can actually announce the registration and exam date at any time regardless of the ongoing strike. So, you should get your OAU post-UTME study packs now and start studying for the exam already (we can help you get the study packs and courier them to you if you are far away from OAU/Ife);

2). sign up for coaching at a tutorial centre that understands OAU styles of screening (we would be glad to have you at our tutorial centre in Ife, and we promise to deliver success in the post-UTME and admission processes, read about our tutorial centre here. We also have hostel facilities for students who may want to stay in Ife and close to OAU to be able to prepare for the post-UTME better, read about our hostel services here). If you prefer a private tutor, please get a private tutor who has written and aced a couple of OAU exams—this would help you;

3). network with other OAU aspirants and join chat groups full of OAU aspirants like you, this would help you get informed, you can also confirm information in the groups; just be careful to not strongly attach to another candidate’s experience or strategies, what worked for them may not work for you; also, and importantly,

4). try to connect with people who are strong in the system from the level of your aspired department to the level of the Senate of the school—you would understand what I mean by this if you agree that in Nigeria, the people you know where you are going would determine how fast and easy the doors open to you.  I will not explain this more than I already have, but please do what you should with this little information I just gave you. I wish you all the best in the endeavour.

Our Services for OAU Undergraduate Degrees Aspirants

 Our Services for OAU Undergraduate Degrees Aspirants

Here are a few of the services we at Pathfinders Edu. Consultancy provide for students who are interested in having OAU as their choice of university and they want to do all that should and must be done to have such admission:

1). we share the most recent and the most needed information about OAU admissions, and also about OAUTH School of Nursing admission too. You can follow our updates on any of our social media pages;

2). we help applicants with their OAU Post-UTME screening registration, and we guide them to making the best decisions and taking the best actions for a win;

3). we help with admission processing into the school’s degree programmes, and into OAUTH School of Nursing too;

4). we provide hostel for UTME and Post-UTME candidates who like to come down to Ife and closer to OAU to get coaching for the exams. Click here to check our hostel facilities out;

5). we run tutorial centre for coaching UTME, Post-UTME, JUPEB, Pre-degree and OAU School of Nursing screening candidates to help them excel in the exams; and
6). We run short-time computer training programmes for candidates preparing for Computer-Based Tests (CBT).

Contact us now:

Phone number: +2348139534187

Twitter and Instagram: @PEC_ngr

Facebook and TikTok: @PECngr






Monday, 9 May 2022

ASUU, SSANU and NASU Strikes and How University Alumni Are the Major but Unsuspected Victims

ASUU, SSANU and NASU Strikes and How University Alumni Are the Major but Unsuspected Victims

When any section of any school goes passive on their works, the students of such schools are the most noticed group of victims, and this is very normal; the students are the core of the jobs of the staff, so the core gets more attention. But in the case of a university being shut down for weeks because most of the unions of staff in the school are on strike, this would mean there are other victims different from the students; there are always traders and businesses affected, and the effects this always has on the alumni body of the universities are always these people get stuck and cannot move forward with their endeavours in life.

Let me start from the people who just wrote their final exams and are waiting to move on to the next stage of their lives but they are being kept waiting because the staff they need to do things like clearance, service mobilization and so on for them are on strike. I know how depressing this could be because I experienced this during my days of being a fresh graduate too; I had to wait for almost two years after writing my final exams before getting cleared for service, I couldn’t work because I had no document telling I’m a graduate, I couldn’t take up anything to learn because I was cautious I could make payments to learn something and the strikes get called off some days later, which would mean my money gets wasted as I would not be able to continue with such training. There are lots of fresh graduates being victims of this circumstance at this time, and they have nothing they can do about it, they can only wait and pray. If you ever wonder why fresh graduates get depressed easily, this is one of the reasons. This set of alumni is always overlooked in times like this, and this is bad.

Other set of alumni that suffer strikes but are rarely noticed are the old set of alumni who now want to go ahead in life and they need documents like their academic transcripts, Proof of Proficiency in English, verification of results and so on from their universities but the schools are on almost 100% shut down because every one is on strike, hence, these people cannot move forward with their life endeavours; people applying for postgraduate programmes outside the country and needing their documents from their previous local university can only hope the strikes are called off soon. The schools they are applying to aren’t on strike and their calendar would not wait on applicants whose documents can’t be made ready already because their previous schools are on strike. Employees who have been asked by their employers to provide their academic transcripts and have been given a deadline are not able to do that because their schools are on strike. This set of alumni are not one of the things that bother the government, but they should really be paid better attention to as this is a set of people who already have what to contribute to the economy or to the country somehow, but they cannot do that because they have been held down by the system.

It is understandable why unions would agitate and go on strike—especially in this our Nigeria, but schools management need to already develop some kind of mechanisms that would reduce the effects of these actions on the alumni body—especially when it comes to documents production, schools should never let anything whatsoever come in the ways of that. Schools management can contract independent bodies to keep the business of documents production going, or contract parts of their employees who are on strike to keep the documents production business going. We cannot keep shutting down the transcripts production system! This never and will never have any time it doesn’t try to ruin the lives of people who are promising to be of good benefits to Nigeria; even when a good-large part of them who are running abroad think they are escaping the country to never come back, they still end up being a good source of income to the country, so it’s never a loss for Nigeria. This system needs to do something about universities usually getting shut down, and it must also look deeper into avoiding any shut down ruining opportunities for alumni who are super ready to rise and shine.

Monday, 21 March 2022


 How to be Part of How Student Visa is Making Emigration Easier for Nigerians 02

I started talking about the documents you must have if you are trying to migrate abroad using the student visa—which is facilitated by first gaining admission to a school in the country you are trying to migrate to. This would mean you are going to have to provide a lot of academic documents on your previously-earned academic qualifications. I have mentioned and discussed here a couple of the needed documents you must have before even trying to apply for any scholarship or admission abroad so that your Nigerian school would not sabotage the processing of your admission/scholarship or make you lose it when you have been offered a provisional admission but you need some documents for the admission to be finalized; we all know how our Nigerian schools are rarely capable of providing documents fast—transcripts especially. I will be discussing more of the academic documents you would be needing to process an abroad scholarship or admission, and I would not forget to state the ones you should have at hand before applying to all—to make your application easy. For the record, I have discussed: (1). Unofficial Transcripts and (2). Proof of Proficiency in English Language in the previous write-up, and on this one I would be discussing (3). Certified True Copy of Certificate and (4). Verification of Results.

3. Certification of Certificate/Certified True Copy of Certificate (CTCC): Your CCTC is the stamped and signed coloured copy of your certificate you are using to process the scholarship or admission you are seeking for, this stamping and signing is done by the Exams and Records of the school you got the qualification from so that the institution you are using the qualification at would be assured your certificate is not a forged document, and that the school indeed issued you the certificate and they approve of what you are trying to use it for and how you are trying to use it. Different schools with different ways of producing the CTCC; while some schools do this for free, some collect money ranging from #1,000 to #7,500. You just have to print your certificate in colours and submit it to your Exams and Records after applying for it to be certified. The submitted document would be stamped and signed by an authority of the Exams and Records, and that is how you have your CTCC. Now you can scan and upload it to any platform where you need it or send it by email or courier to them—depending on how they request you get it to them. Please remember that we can make this happen for you fast and without you having to stress on anything; just contact us on +2348139534187 or  now so we can talk about this.

(4). Verification of Results: A lot of people get them confused with each other Verification of Results and Certification of Certificate but they are far different from each other. I believe the major reason for this confusion is because most alumni don’t know the difference between a transcript and a certificate until they need their transcripts and their Nigerian schools have to frustrate them so much that they forcefully learn what transcripts are and how they are processed differently from a certificate. Note that while transcripts are documents detailing your courses, units, grades, everything that happened to you and with you and your programme from your admission year to your graduation year, a certificate is a document summarizing the completion of your programme and the class of your final CGPA. This means unlike your certificate that is produced by your department/faculty informing your Senate that you qualify to graduate and the class of CGPA you qualify to graduate with, the production of your transcripts depends on every course you took during your programme, their units their titles, the grades you got on them, how many times you had to take them to pass. The production of your transcripts may also need to carry passport photograph, your date of birth, details on the leave of absence you took while in school, details on transfer from one department to another, details on when you were permitted to take more unit of courses more or lesser than the normal unit you should take in a given semester. Because of all these needed data is why transcripts production is never as fast as certificate production in Nigeria, as our schools aren’t that efficient with data keeping. All said means that transcripts production is far different from certificate production and more rigorous; some schools even go to the length of leaving certificate production and other relating documents to the Exams and Records while they create a Transcripts Department for the production of transcripts. By the explanation of the dichotomy between transcripts and certificates, it should be easier now to summarize the difference between Verification of Results and Certification of Certificate to the former having to do with transcripts and the latter having to do with certificates. Verification of Results happens when an institution your transcripts have been sent to (by your or your school) contacts your school to verify that: the transcripts were sent by them, the transcripts have not been tampered with in the process of sending, or anything the verification-requesting institution has done on the transcripts either to evaluate or interpret them have not faulted the true value of the qualification; this is why evaluating bodies like WES, IQAS, SAQAS, etc. often request for Verification of Results after they have evaluated your transcripts. Different schools with different processes of verifying results; some do it for free, some need you to make some payments and push some documents before it is done for you. You already know we can get this done for you and fast, just contact us on +2348139534187 or  now so we can talk about this.


I will be discussing more documents needed for abroad admission or scholarship next week. To not miss out on this write-up, you can subscribe to our newsletter on this website or contact us here so that the write-up would be delivered to your email the very minute we publish it. Have a productive week.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022


 How to be Part of How Student Visa is Making Emigration Easier for Nigerians 01

One of the greatest things to happen to the demography of educated Nigerians in the last two-three years is the sudden burst in the rate of “japa” via student visa; the average increase in the number of Nigerians who travelled abroad with a student visa between 2019 and 2020 compared to any prior years is crazy! This is not even as crazy as the average increase in the number of Nigerians who travelled abroad with student visa between 2020 and 2021, and 2021-2022 is trying to be mad crazy as well. This can only mean the opportunity to japa via student visa is becoming more feasible for more people per year. Now the question is, how does a new person get involved in this trend? How can they avoid being one of the too many people that would spend so much resources and yet not have their student visa? How can they be one of the few lucky ones who get their student visa softly, travel abroad softly, and announce their japa softly? Well, for a fact, I know money is a major factor in this; without funds, don’t even go into trying to travel abroad, that thing costs money. Secondly, I know connections can do a lot too; you can have all the money you need to accomplish the process, but if you are not connected to the appropriate resources, you might just end up stranded and disappointed. Last but not the least, I know that information (the on-time and correct information) is very important to your emigration processes; no accurate and on-time information, the chances of getting the good success is infinitesimally small. Let me not concern this write-up with your funds you have or do not have ready for the emigration processes, let me not concern it with the connections you have or no do have, let me concern it with the basic information you must have and understand before engaging in emigration processes via student visa; as this is what Pathfinders Edu. Consultancy (PEC) is best at and can be of service on.

Scholarship and admission processes are based on documents, I mean several documents; nothing about traveling would be possible if you do not have the documents needed and on time. For a person trying to travel via student visa and get this visa via admission and scholarship, this would mean you would need a lot of academic documents. Let’s address these documents one by one, how you can get them, what they would cost you, and how we can be of service:

1. Unofficial Transcript (Student Copy): While some schools and scholarship boards abroad just demand for your official transcript as early as you are applying for an opportunity with them, most of the schools and scholarship boards only require you to upload and send your unofficial transcript to them for them to process your admission or scholarship, but when you have been considered for such admission or scholarship and you are found qualified, they would ask you to request that your school sends your official transcript to them for them to validate your qualification and then finally offer you your admission letter with which you would process your student visa. In case you do not know the difference between an unofficial transcript and an official transcript; normally, the former is yours and addressed to you, while the latter is addressed to the institution you are using it at and it is sent to them directly from your school, and they must be the one to open it; it’s not official anymore if opened by another body. However, in some type of way, a transcript addressed to one institution or body as an official document could be used in another institution as an unofficial document, but this is abnormal and unusual. It is advisable you have your unofficial transcript ready with you before applying for admissions or scholarships, as most Nigerian schools might delay the delivery of your transcript to you if you have applied for the admissions or scholarship already and your advancement in the process depends solely on the availability of your unofficial transcript. Most Nigerian applicants are victims of this, and they put themselves under unnecessary deadline pressures and failure because of this; some of them transfer these pressures to agents like us working on documents processing as their schools cannot be pressurized. You are advised to have your unofficial transcript already before applying for admissions or scholarships at all, to avoid the pressures of deadline. How to get your unofficial transcript depends on your school; some schools in Nigeria make the request for this available electronically, some are still manual about it. But know this and know peace, no matter what school you are requesting your transcript from, you are most likely to need a third-party or an agent to run the on-ground errands for you on processing your transcripts. If you request for your transcript and leave your school to it, you just might not get it ever or at best get it only after several months. Mind you, we are here to help you on this, just reach out to us on +2348139534187 or so we can talk about you getting your unofficial transcript fast and without stress. 

2. Proof of Proficiency in English Language (PPEL): PPEL is another important academic document you would be needing in processing your abroad admissions or scholarships if you are aspiring for Europe or the Americas; it is very important because the schools in these continents would ask you to have passed some kind of international English test, but then, if you have taken any programme in English Language before and the qualification of that programme is what you are using to get an admission or a scholarship abroad, getting a PPEL from the school you got the qualification from could give you a waiver for an international English test. So to say, PPEL saves you from having to write IELTS, GRE or TOEFL. How PPEL is produced varies from school to school; some schools give this document for free, some collect funds ranging from #1,000 to #10,000 to produce this document for you. Remember, whether free or costing money, you would still be needing an agent or a third-party on ground to process this document for you so you wouldn’t have to be in your school to do the run around. PEC can be of help on this as well. Just reach out to us on +2348139534187 or so we can talk about you getting your PPEL without stress, and fast.

I still have some five academic documents more to talk about, but I wouldn’t want to overload this write-up to make it a hard one to read and understand, so read a little more of this here.

Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Verification of Results and Certified True Copy of Certificate: What’s the Difference, Their Uses, and How Do they Get Processed in OAU and UI? [TAGS: NAIRALAND, GOOGLE, OAU, UI, TRANSCRIPTS, SCHOLARSHIP, ADMISSION]

Verification of Results and Certified True Copy of Certificate: What’s the Difference, Their Uses, and How Do they Get Processed in OAU and UI?

Everyone knows exactly what document they want from their school—which is good, but sometimes, an excessive level of this assurance often causes a lot of problems for agents like us working on academic documents for alumni of Nigerian schools; it gets even more tedious when we encounter the client who just wants to stick to their understanding of what their travel agent or PR told them, or what they think the abroad institution they are applying to is asking them to provide. But then, it is a fact that people like us who have been doing the same thing for different people at different levels over a couple of years are likely to have a big well of experiences from which they could give a better or more information from, and while some clients make it easy for us to enlighten them, some just get really dogmatic and become impossible to educate—which, by the way, often leads them to having to spend more or having to wait for longer time for them to have what they want. An instance of this is when you inform a client who studied English Language as a course in school that they do not need to write any international English test like IELTS, GRE or TOEFL if they are seeking admission to an English-speaking country/school that requires that they have the good knowledge of English Language but then they insist that their abroad school they are seeking admission to requires every applicant to write an international English test. It’s also the same case as when you tell a person whose qualification they have at hand was taught in English Language that they do not need to write an international English test, they only need to get a Proof of Proficiency in English Language from their school and they would have a waiver on any international English test, but then, the client who know too much just wants to stick to what they know. As this drama happens with international English test and Proof of Proficiency in English Language, so does it with verification of results and certified true copy of a certificate?

Let me make this clear in one sentence that verification of results is not the same as certified true copy of certificate, and they do not do the same thing when it comes to seeking employment, admission or scholarship; while verification of results means that an institution has sent your academic transcripts to your school you got the qualification from, asking your school to verify that your transcripts were indeed sent by them, and that your results in the transcripts are correct, a certified true copy of your certificate would mean that an institution or a body is asking your school to confirm the genuineness of your certificate. Using the standard and modus operandi of OAU and UI, Verification of results is initiated by your requesting institution by sending a request for verification to your school, you pay some money to your school, do some leg works (or have someone do these for you), and your school replies to the request by verifying that your transcripts are genuine and the results in them are correct. Using the standard and modus operandi of OAU and UI, a certified true copy of your certificate is produced by your school’s Exams and Records stamping and signing a coloured copy of your certificate and sending it to the requesting body; this would mean to the requesting body that your school has confirmed to them that your certificate is genuine.

This information should be able to tell already that these two documents are not the same—as one is about your transcripts and the other about your certificate, and they don’t do the same thing as a lot of clients confuse their uses with each other. So when we have a client who—by what they are describing—sounds like what they need is a certified true copy of their certificate but they are insisting that what they need is verification of results, or when we have a client who—by what they are describing—sounds like what they need is a verification of their transcripts but they are insisting that what they need is a certified true copy, what we would resort to is the “do you” strategy; we help them get what they say they want and wait for when their requesting institution would send them back to their school to collect the right document required, and when they come back to us now sober and ready to listen, we let them know we been knew they were wrong. The purpose of this publication is not only to enlighten the readers on the differences between verification of results and a certified true copy, and the differences in the processes of producing these documents, but also to let potential clients needing these documents know that they must be flexible enough to want to listen to the agents they are contacting to help them process these documents from their schools, as these agents often know better and more than the information they may have gotten from anyone else. We came in peace, and only to enlighten and serve if you need services relating to these.

Monday, 14 February 2022


Your Proof of Proficiency in English Language from UI or OAU: The Fast and Easy Ways to Getting It

I have published so many write-ups on how a Proof of Proficiency in English Language (PPEL) can waive you from having to take an IELTS or some other test of English Language for you your emigration, scholarship and admission processes, so I wouldn’t need to talk about that again on this one write-up. If you want to know more about PPEL and how it can be useful in your travel endeavours, kindly check out the blog list on this web to find topics on PPEL that are related to the information you are looking to find, and I’m sure you would find exactly what you are looking for, or at least something really close. So, without further ado and without spending more words on the usefulness of PPEL, I will be jumping from here to talking about how the PEC Team can help you get your Proof of Proficiency in English Language from University of Ibadan or Obafemi Awolowo University to be sent to your doorstep by courier or to your email address without you having to stress yourself on anything at all. Read below what you’d need to do.

Getting your Proof of Proficiency in English Language from OAU or UI is not a rigorous process, only that a lot of on-ground logistics are involved (if you know what I mean), which makes it impossible to be a thing to apply for online and just wait for the delivery—you might end up waiting forever and still not get the document, just because your online application is somewhere unprocessed. The processes for PPEL usually involve: filling the form, making payments on Remita, receipt conversion, submission of supporting documents (like copies of your certificate), and so on. The implication of this is that there would end up being bureaucracies and red-tapism that would cause some unnecessary delays before the document is finally ready for collection—if it’s going to be ready ever. In fact you are going to have to go down to your school to process the document yourself if you don’t have somebody who knows the whereabouts to do the waka-about for you. However, we the PEC Team, we do this for a price; we can get your Proof of Proficiency in English Language ready to be couriered to your doorstep in just 4 or 5 working days. Contact us now on +2348139534187 or fill this form here to make the order for your Proof of Proficiency in English Language so we continue from there.

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Terms of Engaging Pathfinders Edu. Consultancy in Your Document Processing

Terms of Engaging Pathfinders Edu. Consultancy in Your Document Processing 

Deal with Pathfinders Edu. Consultancy (PEC) if and only if you have read the terms below and you are agreeing to engage us based on them:

1). You are aware and you agree to work with the facts that PEC is in no way affiliated to your school (from which you need your document), and that PEC can only do on processing your document what your school allows us to do on your behalf.

2). We have no capacity whatsoever to produce such document as you are requesting for from your school through us, which means we do not have the power to determine exactly when your document would be ready as produced by your school (only your school can do this); we can only help you place the request for the document or/and help you monitor the progress or/and do what your school allows us to do on your behalf.

3). On filling any form issued to you by PEC to respond to, PEC would not make any adjustment on any information you provide on the form; your document request would be placed strictly based on the information you provide on the form, and PEC will not take responsibility for any effect of any wrong response you provide.

4). PEC does not make refunds!

Please don't deal with PEC or make any payment to PEC on anything relating to any document you want from your school if you do not agree to work with every of the terms stated above.

Thank you.

Monday, 10 January 2022

Admission and Scholarship Hopefuls and How their Former Lecturers Harm them With Lazy Recommendation Letters [TAGS: recommendation letter, scholarship, admission, abroad, emigration]

 Admission and Scholarship Hopefuls and How their Former Lecturers Harm them With Lazy Recommendation Letters

I recently came across a write-up written by Prof. Moses Ochonu, and it is one of the best write-ups to read if you are an aspirant of emigration looking for admission or scholarship abroad. I like the article so much because it would be what I would have written on how lecturers act like gods when their former students need them to write a recommendation letter for them when they are seeking admission or scholarship in furtherance of their education, and how when they respond to a lucky student’s request for recommendation, they do it in a way that would have no good boost it’s giving the applicant on getting the admission or scholarship they need such recommendation for. This is a very awful work behaviour among the Nigerian lecturers and it doesn’t look like a lot of people are yet thinking it’s high time the academic staff unions, the schools management, the schools commission were pressured to educate their lecturer members and employees to take jobs like this seriously. Let me drop the write-up by Professor Moses below, he discusses this problem better than I would.

(article continues after advert break)


Let's discuss how Nigerians unintentionally--or as a compatriot told me recently, intentionally--sabotage other Nigerians' chances of upward socioeconomic and educational mobility. A talented Nigerian student/graduate is applying to a graduate program in Euro-America and asks her current or former lecturers to write her the required recommendation letters. Some of the lecturers don't even bother to write the letter. The applicant has to chase them down and plead. Sometimes they have to travel from one part of the country to the other  to plead in person as phone calls, texts, and emails don't work with the lecturers. It's as though the lecturers don't want to support the applicant's foreign educational aspirations. It's part of their job, but lecturers act as if they're doing their current and former students a favor by writing these letters. Many applicants have missed critical application deadlines because of this attitude.

The ones who agree to write the letter take the most cavalier attitude to it. They write unusably perfunctory nonsense such as "Ms so and so was a student in our department; she was a well behaved student; she worked hard and performed well in her classes; she has a good character and is very respectful; her academic record is okay." Far from helping the applicant's chances, this type of letter actually damages and puts her at a disadvantage in relation to her fellow applicants. I should know, since I've served on both graduate admissions and fellowship and grant committees many times. Where to begin? First of all such a letter says nothing, absolutely nothing, about the applicant's intellectual abilities, unique academic skills, or the specificities of their academic record. It  is too general to be useful. It does not offer any insight into the lecturer's academic/intellectual relationship with the applicant, so why should we take the letter writer seriously as someone who can vouch for the applicant?

There is no mention of classes the applicant took with the lecturer, how they did in such classes, how they stood out, what they did to impress the lecturer, why the lecturer believes the applicant would thrive and blossom in the graduate program, etc. There is no praise, no enthusiasm--only bland, lukewarm, generic comments. It's better not to write a recommendation than to write one that does not endorse the applicant or highlight her intellectual promise and quality. Then there is the issue of brevity. Some of these letters that I've seen are one paragraph or at most two--too sketchy to offer any substantive glimpse into the applicant's abilities or give one a sense of the applicant's unique talents and intellectual drive.

Finally, there is the annoyingly meaningless deployment of Nigerian idiosyncrasies and cliches. When a Nigerian lecturer writes "hardworking," the North American evaluators of the applicant's materials read it as "mediocre." When the evaluators see a word such as "solid," they don't think it indicates excellence, as it might in Nigeria. In popular and even professional Nigerian usage, "okay" means good. Not so in the North American educational parlance. It does not mean good. Rather, it denotes bad or mediocre. Saying someone is "okay" indicates reservation, that the letter writer is holding back outright praise because the applicant does not deserve it. And nobody wants to know or cares about the applicant's personal character, so commenting on how well behaved or respectful she is is an unhelpful digression at best and at worst a damaging indication that you have nothing substantive or glowing to say about her academic abilities and intellectual talent. What has the applicant being "kind" got to do with her ability to undertake graduate work, cope with its rigors, and do well?

I don't know whether it is laziness on the part of the lecturers or a lack of awareness about Western higher educational conventions. I suppose it's a mix of the two. Whatever it is, these lecturers are destroying the chances and prospects of talented Nigerian applicants, who lose out of opportunities because their former or current teachers write non-recommendation recommendation letters on their behalf.  I've lived and worked in America long enough to know that, in making admission and other decisions, no evaluator will ignore a sketchy, general, and lukewarm endorsement from a person who purportedly knows and has taught and mentored the applicant--the recommender. If the recommending lecturer doesn't sound so enthusiastic about the applicant, why should I? That's the general attitude. Ignorance of what is expected in the letter is no excuse. I've even seen such a letter which was written by a Nigeria-based lecturer who studied in the US and is thus aware of how critical recommendation letters are and how they should be written. This lends credence to the theory that some of this could be intentional sabotage on the part of some recommending lecturers.

It is sometimes so sad and frustrating for folks like me to read recommendation letters from North American professors saying that such and such applicant is a reincarnation of Albert Einstein and Jacques Derrida in one flesh and then to read a meaningless three-sentence recommendation letter from a Nigerian lecturer about a Nigerian applicant you know is much more talented than the North American applicant whose abilities and talents are being advanced in highfalutin, exaggerated terms. The interesting thing is that I read recommendation letters written by academics in other countries for other international applicants and they conform for the most part to the North American convention of high praise and substantive commentary on the applicant, her accomplishments, and her ongoing work.  We're cheating ourselves and putting ourselves at a disadvantage in a globalized, hyper-competitive world.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022


 Can Proof of Proficiency in English Language Replace IELTS?

There are questions emigration hopefuls ask about their documents and the kind of visa they are looking to get—especially the academic admission seekers; questions ranging from: how, if possible, to extend the lifespan of their IELTS to make it be useful still after the normal two years it’s usually valid for? Is WES evaluation necessary for all admission seekers in the Americas? Short answers to these questions are: yes, there are ways the lifespan of your IELTS can be extended to remain useful after two years; and no, WES evaluation is not a compulsion, only few schools in the Americas ask for WES evaluation. On another publication on this web, I will be writing comprehensively on the extension of the lifespan of IELTS, and on when you need or do not need WES evaluation. But on this one, I only intend to make some clarifications on the need for Proof of Proficiency in English Language (POPEL) and the need for IELTS, as well as when you need either of the two as a foreign admission seeker.

You should know that for a student seeking admission abroad, POPEL covers a very large portion of the function of IELTS for you; this would mean, although IELTS could be compulsory to other kinds of visas for people trying to work and reside abroad, but for a student visa, IELTS is not compulsory at all, only few schools compulsorily request for IELTS for them to be able to consider you for the admission that would allow you get the student visa, most of the schools—in the Americas especially—only need to be convinced that your previous educational qualification—which you are using as the criteria for the admission you are seeking for in the school abroad—was done in English Language, and that the kind of English Language used matches the kind they want. In this sense, this would mean if you are looking for scholarships or admissions abroad with a degree qualification you already have in Nigeria, what you would need to have to convince your aspired school abroad that the qualification was done in English Language is for you to get a Proof of Proficiency in English Language (POPEL) from your school you got the qualification you are using to apply from. Your school would state in the POPEL that the programme was done in English Language, and they would state the kind of English Language used.

You would rarely need IELTS in seeking for admission abroad as only a very small number of schools would ask an admission seeker for that. So, the answer to if you can replace IELTS with POPEL is a no, because the two are different things with one doing a small part of the job of the other. But despite the fact that the answer is no, that doesn’t mean IELTS is compulsory for all admission seekers, it only means there are some cases where you must have your IELTS, but there are so many cases where POPEL is what you need and not IELTS at all. So make your enquiries before wasting money on IELTS when all you need is a POPEL. I wish you luck in your emigration endeavours.