Friday, April 24, 2009

GSU to develop programs at a West African university

Georgia State University was recently awarded a $50,000 federal grant to help a West African university plan its academic programs.

The grant, provided by U.S. Agency for International Development and the Higher Education for Development, will be used to develop a five-year strategic plan for academic programs in business, management and economics at International University of Grand-Bassam in Cote D’Ivoire.

GSU’s grant is one 20 awards out of more than 300 applications submitted to Higher Education for Development. The purpose of this initiative is to support long-term partnerships between universities in Africa and the United States, and build capacity in African institutions to contribute to national and regional development.

“This grant recognizes Georgia State University’s partnership with the International University of Grand-Bassam as one of a select group of U.S. institutions to spearhead this initiative,” said John Hicks, GSU associate provost of international affairs.

“It also recognizes the extraordinary work of several GSU faculty and staff who have supported and contributed to the university’s relationship with Cote d'Ivoire over the past decade and a half.”

With the grant, officials hope to complete the university’s four-year undergraduate curriculum and add graduate programs such as a MBA and masters degrees in economics and public administration, Hicks said.

Georgia State began working with Cote d ’Ivoire officials in 1994, but political uprisings in the nation delayed progress. Classes began in January 2005 and IUGB now has 150 students enrolled. The university hopes to double enrollment this fall to 300 students.

IUGB is an American-styled university with an academic program modeled off of Georgia State but adapted to meet the unique needs of the local and regional environment.

“IUGB’s core objective is to build human capital for regional economic development. We intend to produce qualified and skilled personnel who are trained in problem solving and intercultural cooperation,” said Saliou Toure, president of IUGB, at the university’s first board of director’s meeting in Grand-Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire recently.

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