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Friday 22nd February 2019,
Hope for Nigeria


Here is an inspiring story of a Nigerian Student, Livinus Obiora Nweke, who was denied admission for a masters’ programme in Computer Science at Nigerian Universities because his bachelors’ degree was obtained online but was admitted by one of the best Universities in the World; Sapienza Universita di Roma, Italy.



Driven by his fascination about computers and their capabilities, Livinus Obiora Nweke decided to pursue a bachelors’ degree in Computer Science online with University of the People (UoPeople), Pasadena, CA, US after obtaining a Higher National Diploma in Electrical Electronic Engineering from Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, Nigeria. The choice of an online degree was due to its flexibility and cost effectiveness that allowed him to continue his work as an IT Specialist while attending the degree programme online.

The fundamental principles of computing presented during the undergraduate programme at UoPeople and his work as an IT Specialist further increased his desire to know more and to make useful contributions to the field of Computer Science; thus, leading him to apply to several Nigerian Universities for admission into their masters’ programme in Computer Science. Unfortunately, all the Nigerian Universities he applied to decline to accept him; observing that the Nigerian constitution does not recognize online degrees.

However, Nweke’s unwavering faith in his desire to further his studies spurred him to apply to universities in Italy for his masters’ programme. He was offered admission for a masters’ programme in Computer Science by the two Italian Universities he applied to and considering the rankings of the two universities both in Italy and the world, he opted to accept the admission at Sapienza Universita di Roma, Italy; starting the programme in September 2016.

During his masters’ programme at Sapienza, Nweke’s outstanding performance earned him an Erasmus Scholarship for thesis research at Royal Holloway, University of London. The Erasmus experience provided him with the opportunity of working with one of the best researchers in the field of cybersecurity and international exposure.

Upon his return from London, he defended his thesis at Sapienza in July 2018, graduating with a final score of 110/110 Sum cum Laude (First Class) and in a record time of less than the legal duration of the programme which is 2 years. Also, his thesis report has been added as a resource in the Project Management World Library given its contributions to the relevant scientific community.



The underlying passion that has fueled Nweke’s academic and research career to date now draws him to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Science with the goal of becoming a professor and having the opportunity to teach and do research at a university. He has been selected and interviewed for a Ph.D. position at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and he hopes to continue his academic and research pursuit at NTNU.

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