McRobbie becomes first IU president to visit Ghana, concluding historic trip to Africa
Friday, September 6, 2013
Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie became the first IU president to visit Ghana, meeting with senior officials at the nation's oldest university, the University of Ghana, to explore ways to expand one of IU's most productive and successful international partnerships.
More than 100 IU students studied abroad in Ghana last year. More than 20 students from Ghana are enrolled at IU this fall.During a two-day stop in Accra, Ghana's capital city, McRobbie also officially inaugurated IU's alumni chapter in Ghana and met with several current University of Ghana faculty members who were the beneficiaries of IU scholarships to study at IU's Bloomington campus.
"Indiana University has had a long and productive partnership with the University of Ghana, dating back two decades and resulting in opportunities for numerous IU students to study abroad in one of Africa's most dynamic nations," McRobbie said. "Through this partnership, IU has also been able to welcome a large number of outstanding students from Ghana, who have brought a unique cultural perspective to our campuses. I look forward to building on the strong foundation we have built to create new opportunities for student exchanges and increased research collaborations among our respective faculty."
The visit to the University of Ghana concluded a two-week presidential trip to Africa, the first visit to the continent by an IU president in more than two decades.
Among the trip's major highlights was a multiple-day visit earlier this week to the historic Indiana University-Moi University AMPATH Center in Eldoret, Kenya. McRobbie is the first president to visit the AMPATH Center, which has become one of the largest academic centers for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in the world. Founded more than two decades ago by four IU physicians, AMPATH currently serves 3.5 million people in over 500 urban and rural clinical sites throughout western Kenya and has enrolled more than 160,000 individuals who have tested positive for HIV/AIDS.
"The care and research being done by IU and Moi University faculty at AMPATH is truly exceptional and, indeed, has the potential of revolutionizing the way health care is conducted in Africa and other developing regions of the world," McRobbie said. "All of us at Indiana University and around the state of Indiana can take great pride in the inspiring work that our faculty and students have done here in Kenya and their dedication to furthering the university's resoundingly successful academic partnership with Moi University."While in Kenya, McRobbie signed an agreement renewing IU's partnership with Moi University. The new agreement will ensure that IU and Moi continue to work together on faculty and student exchanges and research collaboration, including activities related to AMPATH, while seeking ways to expand their partnership across multiple schools and departments.
While in South Africa, McRobbie and IU Kelley School of Business Dean Idalene Kesner signed a new partnership agreement with the Gordon Institute of Business Science, South Africa's top-ranked business school. The agreement calls for the creation of new study abroad opportunities for students from IU's Kelley School and GIBS, as well as research collaborations among faculty at both institutions.
McRobbie also initiated discussions at GIBS' parent institution, the University of Pretoria, as well as at the University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape and the South African Ministry of Higher Education and Training, to explore potential avenues of collaboration centered on IU's many academic strengths, including those housed in the university's internationally acclaimed African Studies Program. The program, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011, offers instruction in more African languages than any other U.S. college or university, including seven of South Africa's 11 national languages.