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US: ASEE African partnership to promote mobility

One of the oldest higher education associations in the United States, the American Society for Engineering Education, has signed a five-year partnership deal with the Association of African Universities which will see the two undertake joint activities to promote academic mobility and research.

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AAU has tried unsuccessfully in the past to establish a representative office in the US

Under an MoU signed by the heads of the two organisations, the partnership will also focus on staff and institutional capacity building, joint resource mobilisation, and infrastructural development for the mutual benefit of the partners.

The plan will also cement ASEE as the AAU’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cooperation ally in the region, and deepen cooperation on “commissioned joint research, disseminate educational information”. Scientific research findings will be shared through workshops, conferences, seminars, multimedia and other avenues on mutually agreed terms.

However, the AAU is set to gain the most as ASEE will provide equipped office space in the US. The location will also serve as AAU’s hub for North America, from where all its other activities in the wealthy region of the world will be carried out.

AAU has tried unsuccessfully in the past to establish a representative office in the US, as members have long argued that benefits would not match the cost of setting up and running the office.

“This collaboration is envisaged to have wider and far-reaching impact”

“This collaboration between the AAU and ASEE is envisaged to have wider and far-reaching impact for faculty, students, networks and broadly higher education institutions in both Africa and North America”, said secretary-general of the AAU, Olusola Oyewole.

“The AAU remains committed to forging strategic partnerships, such as this current partnership with ASEE, to attain its target of strengthening African higher education institutions.”

According to Norman L. Fortenberry, executive director of ASEE, the signing of the pact will allow the advancement of mutual interests of the two organisations and increased collaborations for the benefit of faculty and staff engaged in STEM disciplines.

The American association is the only professional society embracing all branches of engineering and computing, dedicated to promoting engineering and associated technology education in the US. The AAU is the main university organisation in Africa, existing since 1967.

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