By Alagie Manneh
President Adama Barrow has accepted the appointment of Professor Herbert Robinson as vice chancellor of the University of The Gambia, it was announced yesterday.
Announcing the appointment, the UTG said it is the culmination of a “rigorous and painstaking” search process for an inspiring leader for the country’s only public university.
The UTG said Prof Robinson, a Gambian, emerged as the first choice among a highly competitive international group of scholars.
Robinson started his academic career at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom in the year 2000 and became a full Professor at London South Bank University (United Kingdom) in 2011 after he taught and led major academic programmes. This included cutting-edge research and consultancy projects that benefitted both international firms and public sector institutions such as the National Health Service of the UK, which collaborated with the university.
As Professor of Project Management and Sustainability Strategy, Prof Robinson provided leadership in programme and curriculum development, research, building partnerships and mobilising resources, and strategic planning at faculty and university levels. Outputs from his research have been presented in international conferences and knowledge-sharing events in Europe, USA, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. He has authored a plethora of publications, including books, book chapters, technical papers, policy briefs, and articles in leading international journals and conferences.
Prior to his appointment as Vice Chancellor, Professor Robinson was director of knowledge, research, and learning at the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), a specialised agency of the African Union, based in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Professor Robinson also served as the Regional Advisor, Head of Capacity Development and Training Division, and Acting Director, at the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (UN-IDEP)/ UN Economic Commission for Africa based in Dakar, Senegal, from 2012 to 2015.
Before embarking on his academic career, Professor Robinson worked in industry as a quantity surveyor at the London Office of Ove Arup, an internationally renowned consulting firm, and returned to The Gambia in 1991 as a United Nations National Expert to support the World Bank Second Highway Maintenance Project at the then Ministry of Works and Communications in The Gambia.
Professor Herbert Robinson attended Saint Augustine’s High School (1978-83) and after completing his Sixth Form education at Gambia High School (1983-85), he worked at the Medical Research Council (Fajara) before pursuing further studies abroad. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Quantity Surveying (Construction Economics) from the University of Reading, United Kingdom (1989), a Master of Infrastructure Planning from the University of Stuttgart in Germany (1995), and a Ph.D. in Infrastructure Economics from South Bank University (2001) in the United Kingdom.
The university said that it is pleased that a Gambian national will occupy the position of vice chancellor, to steer the direction of the university with effect from January 2022.