Rutgers Engages in Ghana and Nigeria

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Rutgers Meets with University of Ibadan
Thursday, February 29th

Rutgers University–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis traveled to Ghana and Nigeria in January to explore ways for the university to engage more deeply in the region through student and faculty exchanges and collaborative partnerships. He was accompanied by Senior Vice Chancellor Jimmy Jung on the visit and, in Nigeria, joined by Rutgers Global Associate Director Shakirat Bola Ibraheem.

In Ghana, Tillis and Jung met with the University of Ghana, the Ambassador at the US Embassy in Ghana, the EducationUSA team, and the American Chamber of Commerce. They also had meetings with Chancellor Mary Chinery-Heese of the University of Ghana, and the Minister of Education in Ghana. The delegation visited area high schools to share about the opportunities available at Rutgers University. 

In Nigeria, the delegation met with the US Consulate in Lagos, the team at EducationUSA, and the Director of Public Affairs. In addition, they had meetings with a group at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), including Vice Chancellor Professor Folasade T. Ogunsola, as well as Deputy Vice Chancellors in the areas of development services, management services, and academics and research. Chancellor Tillis was especially interested in pursuing collaboration and exchange in languages study at UNILAG, which hosts a large number of international students. 

The team from Rutgers also met with the Minister of Education Dr. Yusuf Sununu and the Director of University Education Rakiya Gambo Ilyasu in Abuja. They then visited the University of Ibadan (UI) and met with Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academics Aderonke Baiyeroju and Deputy Vice President for Administrative Services Professor Peter Olapegba, as well as with the Director of Research Management. 

Chancellor Tillis expressed his interest in collaborating with UI on both student and faculty exchanges and plans to make use of the university-wide Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that Rutgers and UI are in the process of renewing. 

Finally, the Rutgers team reconnected with His Royal Majesty Saka Adelola Matemilola, king of the Owu Kingdom, with whom they met last May when he visited Rutgers University with former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and a delegation of education leaders from Nigeria. Read about this visit to Rutgers in this article

As a result of the meetings, there are new opportunities for study abroad programs in the region, and Executive Director of Study Abroad Dan Waite is looking forward to setting up new programs at the University of Ghana. In the next few weeks, Rutgers University–Camden professor Keith Green will be taking a group of students to University of Ghana.

“We were so glad to have the opportunity to deepen our relationships with our colleagues and peers in Ghana and Nigeria, particularly our partners at the University of Ghana and University of Ibadan,” said Eric Garfunkel, Vice President for Global Affairs. “There are so many ways we look forward to further engaging in this region.”

Remarking on the trip, Chancellor Tillis noted, “The Rutgers–Camden campus hosts numerous global partnerships and a thriving population of diverse international students. It was a privilege to meet with educational leaders in Ghana and Nigeria in order to better serve students from these countries—a population that will grow in the years ahead as we expand partnerships abroad. The visit also presented the opportunity for further collaboration through Rutgers Global. We are honored to join Rutgers Global in collaboration with a few of the finest educational institutions in Ghana and Nigeria to provide students from these two countries a world-class education, and to foster international opportunities for faculty.”

For more photos from the trip taken by the team at UI, visit this page.