The United States Embassy and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have launched the US State Department Bureau of African Affairs’ University Partnerships Initiative (UPI) to promote faculty and student exchanges and joint research.
It also aims at strengthening ties between the two countries, build their education administrative capacities, and enhance public-private partnerships.
A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency said the UPI would be jointly implemented by the Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) in collaboration with the KNUST Business School on: “Flexible Learning: Responding and Reimagining Education in Ghana.”
It said in response to the urgent need for virtual education due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TIEC staff had assembled higher education professionals from several universities in Texas to train 30 administrators and faculty to produce quality online and flexible learning.
The statement said participants would go on to train other faculty and administrators within KNUST and throughout Ghana.
The statement said Iowa State University (ISU) would partner with the KNUST College of Engineering to implement “Institutional Capacity Building through Engineers without Borders (EWB) Collaboration.”
“ISU and KNUST faculty and students will partner with the Ullo Traditional Area in the Upper West Region to collaborate on small-scale community development. These projects will promote research-driven solutions to address food security, potable water security, sustainable agriculture, and improved economic opportunity,” it said.
“This ‘learning by doing’ approach will bolster the students’ real-world problem-solving abilities and globalise the undergraduate engineering curriculum at both universities,” the statement said.
Professor Rita Akosua Dickson, Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, was quoted as saying: “The TIEC-KNUST project propels us in our pursuit of building the needed capacity for the establishment of a more resilient and robust e-learning system that ensures seamless academic work all year round and also offer us the opportunity to transfer knowledge to individuals less privileged to access in-person learning experience from our University.”
She also endorsed the ISU-KNUST project by saying: “It will strengthen our institutional capacity towards achieving our mission as it will position KNUST in an era where academia-community engagement for the socio-economic development of our less privileged communities is paramount.”
Mr Tibor Nagy, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, applauded the inaugural UPI collaborations in Ghana.
“These projects exemplify core principles in American higher education leadership: excellence and innovation in delivery of online education (now of paramount importance as schools rely largely on virtual learning), and hands-on, practical education that when put into action, improves lives,” he was quoted as saying.
Through the UPI, the US Embassy will continue to expand existing links and promote new partnerships at the university level that will strengthen Ghana’s educational institutions as instruments of national development.