Walter Wilson Nana
Officials of the University of Buea, UB and their counterparts of the Bloomsburg University, BU, in the USA continue to find common grounds and new ways on how to foster their already fruitful partnership. Six years into the UB and BU relationship, their senior officials say there are still more to be done and potentials for new avenues to be opened.
In a meeting with UB officials, Monday, March 17 2014, visiting Dr. Ira Blake, Provost and Senior Vice President in charge of Academic Affairs, Bloomsburg University said the new twist of the UB – BU relationship is to expand their initial study abroad programme with new courses, internship opportunities, professional development and career opportunities .
According to Blake, BU is also interested to partner with Cameroon Development
Corporation, CDC as a bridge to the way development is done, particularly in Cameroon. She expressed happiness with the UB faculty members who came over to BU for a five-week exchange programme; recently, saying BU is looking forward to more faculty members from UB. “We want to do collaborative research, learn new cultural developments, learn community engagements, know that we are global citizens, avoid doing damage to the environment, give assistance to other
human beings and add value to what we have been doing already. If we have collaborative teams in research, our work will be better,” the BU Provost noted.
She will add that BU and UB want the world to be a better place to work in. “There are many opportunities for us to collaborate, expand our relationship in meaningful and important ways and see the BU and UB partnership as a rich one between the officials of the universities and the faculty members. We want to make our partnership more.”
Prof. Ekema Agbaw, Professor of English and Coordinator of the Africa Study-Abroad Programme at Bloomsburg University said their relationship with UB is permanently being reinforced and so they are looking out for expansion. “We want to put a lot of stress on research with UB,” he mentioned.
On some of the requests made by UB from BU, Prof Ekema replied; “Rome was not built in a day. We will prioritise and see what we are capable to do and at what time frame we can accomplish some of these requests put at the doorsteps of BU.”
A beneficiary of the UB – BU relationship, Dr Martina Zinkeng, Assistant Coordinator of the BU – UB programme in Cameroon noted that so far it is a cordial and fruitful partnership for the two institutions. “The BU faculty and students have been coming to UB and we teach them and do multi-cultural exchange activities. So, the presence of the Provost and some of her collaborators is an indication that we are on the good footing.” She will add that greater success is on the way following the recent meetings of the two universities.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of UB, Dr. Nalova Lyonga indicated that the UB – BU partnership is a model that has to be put down the throat of others. She will entreat her collaborators, members of faculties to activate their research and not portray the hand-in-cap approach to issues. “We will be exploring opportunities in fine arts, distance learning, special education, technology, the sciences, research, E-administration and the employability of our youths,” the UB VC said.