The University for Development Studies (UDS) has began a formal process that will eventually lead to the signing of a memorandum with the African Studies Centre at the University of Michigan to create a unique opportunity for the next generation of scholars from the former to acquire highly skilled academic training from the latter.
The partnership, when eventually finalized with the signing of a memorandum, will allow the University of Michigan (U-M) to build and strengthen lasting scholarly relationships with visiting scholars from the UDS, Professor Gordana Kranjac-Berisavljevic Head of UDS International, told the media including Savannahnews after its maiden meeting in Tamale to officially start the process of partnership.
The meeting which brought together some Heads of Department and Directors of the UDS and Professor Elisha Renne, a Faculty Affiliate of the African Studies Centre (ASC) of U-M as representative, gave an indication that there were great opportunities for both institutions to benefit from when both institutions finally come into partnership in the areas of academic.
According to Prof. Gordana, faculty from the UDS who will be privileged to enroll in the African Studies Centre (ASC) at the U-M annual programme would aside tuition, also gain experience through mentorship that will enable them to solve critical development challenges affecting Africa and for that matter, Ghana.
Professor Elisha Renne, on her part explained that, the University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Programme (UMAPS) is designed to enhance collaboration between early faculty from Ghana, Liberia, South Africa, Uganda, and students and faculty at the U-M.
She further explained that, the Programme’s goal is to support faculty development in Africa and capacity building for African home institutions. Under the programme, African scholars from all disciplines and all subjects are eligible to apply for the sponsorship to spend periods of four to six months at the U-M, Prof. Renne emphasised.
Scholars she indicated would have access to library and research materials that could assist them in working on a research project, academic degree, new course, grant proposal, or mentorship or collaboration on projects that would help them advance their careers.
Launched in 2009 with funding from the office of the U-M President Mary Sue Coleman, the UMAPS programme has so far supported prestigious group of over seventy African scholars including Kennedy Alatinga who is the first faculty from the UDS to have benefited. Dennis Chirawura also an alumnus of the UDS has been selected to benefit from the UMAPS programme and with the formalization of the partnership, more UDS faculty will be eligible to apply.