The University of Cape Coast (UCC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Rhodes Island (URI), USA to advance their existing co-operative relations.
It will strengthen synergies between the Coastal Resources Centre (CRC) of URI and the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences of UCC in the implementation of each other’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded projects.
The MoU was signed by Vice Chancellor of UCC, Prof. Domwini D. Kuupole and the President of URI, Dr. David M. Dooley on behalf of their respective universities, after a public lecture delivered by the latter at UCC as part of his inaugural visit to Ghana with his colleagues from URI.
The delegation is in Africa to strengthen URI’s well-established ties with African universities including UCC and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and to inspect URI’s ongoing USAID funded projects.
The projects include the USAID Feed the Future Initiative- Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) and the UCC/USAID Fisheries and Coastal Management Capacity Building Project.
The UCC/USAID Project is a five-year 5.5 million dollar project, which is providing long-term institutional anchor for capacity building in fisheries and coastal management in support of Ghana Government’s quest for food security and poverty alleviation.
Facilitating the signing of the MoU, the Senior Natural Resources Management and Energy Advisor of the Economic Growth Office of the USAID/Ghana Mission, Mr. Robert Buzzard gave the assurance that the Mission would continue to support government and the universities.
He said the support was aimed at strengthening efforts and industry involvement to rebuild fish stocks thereby contributing to poverty and hunger reduction and that promoting higher education and research was critical in making informed decision about the fisheries sector.
He said universities can be agents of change and that UCC should lead the change in Ghana by standing up and saying what is needed to be said to save the country’s resources especially the fisheries sector.
Prof. Kuupole noted that universities cannot be effective if they do not impact on society and that universities should seek international partnership that will benefit both universities and their respective communities.
He stressed on the need to revise the curricular to produce students who are employers and not merely job seekers and revealed that under the UCC/USAID Project, 15 students from UCC will visit the URI for an exchange programme.
Delivering the lecture on the theme “Internationalisation and Globalisation: Education, Research, Diplomacy and Intelligence,” Dr. Dooley stressed the need for universities in Ghana to seek partnership with foreign universities.
However, he indicated that such partnership should be one that would enhance both universities and their communities since numerous universities have meaningless and unsustainable agreements.
He said an internal global agenda must be a top strategic plan for universities across the globe, and that such a decision should be a national priority with budget attention.
Dr. Dooley stressed the need for partnership that prepared students to operate as global citizens, and suggested that students, in addition to their chosen programmes, learn other languages so that language does not become an obstacle.
He stated that universities needed to provide the educational and research foundations that are essential to successfully resolve the multiple development challenges, adding that diplomacy and socialisation, although less frequently emphasized, were important roles university partnership could provide.
From Jonathan Donkor, Cape Coast