By Omar Bah
Four students from the Vrije University VUB student’s council in Belgium are currently in Banjul to foster relation between them and the University of The Gambia.
VUB is an internationally renowned university based in Brussels, the heart of Europe.
The four students are members of the international platform of the university, which is headed by a Gambian national and former student of the UTG.
Speaking to The Standard on their visit, Jimmy Henry Nzally, a graduate of the UTG, who is currently doing his PhD in political science at the VUB University, said: “We are here because of the partnership our university with the University of The Gambia”.
He said in May he came with Prof Antillas, the head of multi legal master programs at the VUB University to officially sign an MoU between the two universities.
“Our purpose of coming is to establish a joint students council partnership worth millions of euros between UTGSU and the VUB students council. It is an EU capacity building project,” he explained.
“We came here to see the issues at UTG with first hand, so that we would be able to come up with concrete recommendations in terms of what projects will work in the Gambia, most particularly at the UTG. We have a series of meetings with the Vice Chancellor and senior management of the UTG, students’ union and all the subcommittees of the UTG to sound their opinions on what will represent a good project for them. We also have the opportunity to conduct a tour within the UTG and as well attend lectures just to have the clear picture on how things are going at the UTG,” he explained.
He said they also had meetings with Ministers of Higher Education, Youth and Sport and the director of EFANET “and they have all welcome the initiative that we are about to embarkon”.
“The other programs we will be doing with the UTG is the winter and summer school student exchange visits and internship to give both students the needed exposure to be able to take up the challenge,” he noted.
He continued: “We have also a grant called the EU Erasmus Exchange under which eight students, two lecturers and one administrative staff from the UTG who will come to VUB for a period of two years and on the Belgium side we have one lecturer, teaching staff and one administrative coming over here.”
The VUB University which awarded Nelson Mandela with an honorary award during the time of apartheid recently awarded Fatou Bensouda of International Criminal Court with an honorary doctorate.