Virginia State University will host a delegation of 20 faculty, administrators and student leaders from the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Nigeria’s top ranked university, from June 20-30. VSU President Keith T. Miller invited the delegation to campus as part of the International Institute for Capacity Building in Higher Education, a professional development program that emerged from a recent partnership between the two universities. With the theme ofGlobalizing Higher Education: Outreach and Curriculum Enhancement Activities for Capacity Building at VSU and UNILORIN, the 10-day Institute will engage the delegates in academic and cultural activities, including participation in conferences and seminars, workshops, guest presentations, outreach activities and networking in their respective disciplines.
The delegation represents a range of disciplines and academic areas, including agriculture, engineering, education, library science, computer information systems, business, law, mass communication, post-graduate studies, and student government. The Institute’s goal is to facilitate sharing of resources and expertise to assist both institutions in enhancing program offerings and internationalizing student learning. The professional development program will yield opportunities for joint research and expanded collaboration beyond the two universities. Each institution will alternate in hosting the annual Institute and visiting delegation, designing a program based on the academic areas of participants selected by the partner institution.
Training in information technology and participation in the American Library Association’s 2011 Annual Conference are key components of a professional development plan designed by VSU’s Library Dean for two of the delegates. VSU’s School of Agriculture has arranged for UNILORIN’s Dean of Agriculture and an agriculture extension faculty member to share expertise with VSU agriculture research and extension faculty; visit local farmers and agencies; and travel to the US Department of Agriculture and Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, DC, where the delegates will give presentations on “The Challenges of Agricultural Data Collection for Empirical Research in Nigeria” and “Agricultural Education and the Challenges of Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development in Nigeria.” VSU computer information systems faculty will share resources for assessing and building computer network capacity.
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