October 1, 2008

Skorton to Lead Initiative for Higher Education in Africa

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The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) announced yesterday that President David Skorton will co-chair the group’s initiative to improve higher education in Africa.
Skorton will lead the advisory board of the Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative, which aims to enhance higher education institutions in Africa and further engage American schools in Africa-related issues.
“As fellow leaders in higher education, we need to collaborate with our African colleagues who are determined to secure that same dream for their young students at home,” Skorton stated in a press release.
“Strengthening local institutions of higher education to develop greater human capacity and generate new knowledge is essential to secure a real opportunity for young Africans to participate fully in the global economy.”
Established in July 2007, the Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative hopes to accomplish these goals by developing a program that funds competitive grants to African-U.S. collaboration projects, according to the NASULGC website.
The initiative also launched its own website where those involved in African higher education issues can share information and learn from each other’s experiences.
Skorton’s appointment to the board comes just several weeks after the University announced it will offer its first degree program in Africa through Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia.
In his 2006 inaugural speech, Skorton called for increased University attention to Africa and pledged to “contribute, within [Cornell’s] capabilities as an educational institution, to the improvement of the educational and related environment in that country.”
— Michael Stratford