UMES Hosts Third Biennial International Workshop
PRINCESS ANNE, MD - Dr. Thelma B. Thompson and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, in partnership with the University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Golden Beach Hotels and the Central Region Development Commission in Ghana, recently hosted its Third Biennial International Workshop in Accra, Ghana.
Administrators, faculty, students and staff from some 20 domestic and international universities and over 200 participants representing the donor community, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and civic society considered "Capacity Building for Global Competitiveness in Developing Economies: The Nexus of Technology Development and Transfer, Education and Culture."
A distinguished group of Ghanaian government officials assembled to welcome Thompson, her administrators and students as well as to help open the international workshop. In attendance were the Honorable Alex Tettey-Enyo, Minister of Education; the Honorable Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister for Food and Agriculture; the Honorable Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry; the Honorable Ama Benyiwa-Doe, Central Regional Minister; the Honorable Nii Amarh Ashittey, Greater Accra Regional Minister; the Honorable Julianna Azumah-Mensah, Minister of Tourism; and the Honorable Kobby Acheampong, Deputy Minister of Tourism.
"The international perspective in higher education is crucial to the development of leaders who are sensitive to the role America plays in shaping the national and international agenda," said Thompson. "UMES aims to imbed internationalism in some curricula and to extend its concept of international education through continuing education and cooperative ventures like this biennial workshop with foreign universities, government agencies, non-government agencies and private industry."
A communiqué resulting from the proceedings will detail best practices, lessons learned and creative initiatives geared toward enhancing institutional leadership and management capacity at African universities, food security and food self-sufficiency, creative partnerships to enhance research and engagement functions between institutions of higher learning for economic development, expanding higher education access and quality in Africa and producing globally competent citizens.
Well ahead of what appears to be an emerging trend, the presidential initiative at UMES centers on creating globally competent citizens at the university that s home to some 4,300 students. With more and more institutions of higher learning augmenting their undergraduate study programs with study abroad opportunities, that emerging trend finds some universities establishing cohorts of international students equaling up to 25 percent of their student bodies and implementing recruitment efforts that target foreign students.
UMES strives to develop memoranda of understanding (MOUs) or linkage agreements with international and domestic organizations to facilitate relationships for continuing international-development activities. The purpose of such agreements is to provide the mechanism for other collaborative activities beyond the life of a given project. To date, 28 international linkages have been forged 15 of them developed under the leadership of Thompson in accordance with the overarching goal of the University System of Maryland to ensure that undergraduate students develop the international perspective necessary for success in a global economy.
During the conference, the university held a meeting that led to the establishment of its first international alumni chapter in Ghana and Dr. Francis Kofi Ampenyi Allotey, professor of mathematics, scholar, nuclear physicist and international consultant in informatics for development, was awarded the UMES Presidential Medal Award for his role as an international giant. Known for his work on soft x-ray spectroscopy, Allotey developed the principle widely regarded as the "Allotey Formalism" and the "Allotey Effect," for which he received the Prince Philip Gold Medal Award in 1973 and several international recognitions. In Ghana he is regarded as "a phenomenal inspirer" in that he is responsible for influencing the study of physics and mathematics in Ghanaian schools, colleges and universities.
The presidential globalization efforts at UMES are coordinated through (a) the Center for International Education and (b) the Office of International Programs.
For more information on the Third Biennial International Workshop, visit www.umes.edu/internationalworkshop2009 and click on "2009 Workshop Program."
Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, firstname.lastname@example.org.