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In Review

ghanaINTERNATIONAL VISIT: A delegation from the University visited colleagues at the University of Ghana last spring to explore educational and research exchange programs. (Photo: Provided)

The global terrain of higher education is changing rapidly, says Jane Gatewood, associate provost for global engagement. Emerging economies are investing heavily in postsecondary education, just as the United States is cutting investments.

“At the same time, the challenges we face in the 21st century are really global challenges,” she says. Public health and economic issues aren’t confined by national borders. And the demand for higher education grows throughout the world.

“No one institution can tackle these challenges by itself,” Gatewood says. “We have to partner with strong institutions around the globe.”

A partnership between Rochester and the University of Ghana is an example of just such a collaboration. The first delegation of scholars and researchers from Ghana will arrive at Rochester this fall, part of a growing effort to build ties with the leading higher educational institution in the west African nation.

In the spring, 12 representatives from Rochester spent three days at the University of Ghana in Accra, exploring how the two universities could work together. The delegation laid the groundwork for undergraduate, graduate student, and faculty exchanges, public health fieldwork, and research partnerships.

“The visit was extremely productive,” says Wendi Heinzelman, the dean of graduate studies in Arts, Sciences & Engineering and a professor of electrical and computer engineering, who helped organize the visit.

“We came away from the visit genuinely energized about the possibilities for continued engagement. Actually being at the University of Ghana allowed us to learn about their programs, interact with their faculty and students, and determine where we might partner with them most effectively for both universities.”

Members of the group were intrigued by the potential collaborative projects across a range of areas, including public health, nursing, biology, materials science, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, anthropology, archaeology, technology, and historical structures, and others.

Rochester and the University of Ghana have had an exchange agreement for the past five years, and for the past four years two graduate students from Ghana have spent an academic year in Rochester.

Heinzelman says the model was set up to address concerns that students from developing countries sometimes go abroad for doctoral degrees but don’t return home.

The one-year visitation program allows students to be exposed to a different system and access different resources, including developing relationships with Rochester faculty. They then return to Ghana and can share what they have learned with their colleagues there.

At the same time, the visits can establish groundwork for ongoing research partnerships when the students return to Ghana.

—Leonor Sierra



Select Group

Mr. Ambassador

10 alumni living in Ghana

9 students from Ghana in fall 2014

41 study abroad students since 1995

The University of Ghana is the latest university to be invited for membership in the World Universities Network, a selective consortium of 18 institutions designed to facilitate international scholarly and research exchanges. Rochester has been a member since 2012.

Eugene Cretz ’72 served as the U.S. ambassador to Ghana from 2012 until July. A career diplomat, he was ambassador to Libya from 2008 to 2010.