The young record breaker speaks with Pulse on his journey from Nigeria to South-Africa, to Cyprus and then to the Netherlands in pursuit of academic excellence.
Nigerian students studying abroad are always in the news for academic excellence. They keep shining like stars as their academic brilliance shoots them to the world.
One of such Nigerian academic ambassadors is Eugene C.X. Ikejemba, a 27-year-old Nigerian, who has sets fabulous records in a doctorate degree in the Netherlands.
Eugene, who loves to be addressed as Xavier Iyke, recently emerged as the first PhD student to finish the program in less than three years at the University of Twente, Enschede.
This compared to what obtains in many other universities around the world takes four to five years to complete a PhD program, but Xavier finished it in record time without funding from any source.
The 27-year-old did not only finish the program like no one has ever done in the university, according to him, he is also the first PhD student to publish six articles in highly reputed scientific journals while the practice all over the world encourages students to publish two or three journals.
Prior to his academic records in the Netherlands, the 27-year-old had made academic excellence a habit because he has a knack for making As in all exams.
Growing up in Plateau State, Xavier might not have a bright start to education when he started his academic pursuit in Nigeria. He admits he was not one of the best in secondary school at the prestigious Air Force Military School in Jos, but the school instilled the necessary discipline that saw him become a record setter in the Netherlands university.
In a bid to seek quality education, Xavier left Nigeria and went on to bag two bachelors degrees in two different universities.
“I got my first associate degree in Computer Science at the Institute of Technology and Business in Cape Town. I graduated with a cum laude (straight A’s). After that, I started the second one in Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town before moving to Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus to finish my degree (Also graduated with first class 4.00 out of 4.00)“
Xavier is probably one of the academic heroes that would return to the country someday and give back fantastically to the fatherland.
Still in Netherlands though, but the love of his fatherland is tied to his heart as he nurses the desire to make Nigerians benefit from his wealth of wisdom.
This according to him informs the reason he focuses his research efforts on sustainable energy to contribute his quota to the development of Nigeria ‘because without Energy we will not be able to move forward in Nigeria and even in Sub Saharan Africa as a region’
Explaining how he intends to give back to Nigeria, Xavier said he has dedicated 100 percent of his time to provide solutions to sustainable energy problems in the country.
I actually have dedicated 100% of my time to providing solutions to the country. Despite the fact that I have the opportunity to focus on myself and develop but I have decided and dedicated 100% of my time to implementing only sustainable projects and most importantly providing sustainable solutions for existing and new projects with one aim- creating long terms jobs for the people in Sub Sahara Africa including Nigeria”
Patriotically, Xavier believes giving back to the country is not a mere desire but an effort to ensure the coming generation do not suffer from our negligence and inactions to make Nigeria a better place for them.
He, therefore, enjoined the youths to “focus on living sustainably and do things that contribute to the society in a positive way, because whether we like it or not our kids and grandkids will be the ones to suffer the consequences”
Such is the mindset of a patriot who is willing and thinking about what to give the country and not what the country out of the many problems it is facing is ready to give him.
Xavier has shown his academic brilliance to the world and is nursing a desire to return to the country to give back. Nigeria is waiting to receive her proud sons and daughters abroad to help turn things around until then, the Pulse Nigeria team wishes you the best.
Congratulations on your academic feats !