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MoHERST hosts EU Erasmus+ information day for Gambia

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By: Fatoumata Joof, Information Officer, Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology.

The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology in collaboration with European Union on Tuesday 7th May, 2024 organised the Erasmus+ Information Day for The Gambia. The purpose of the event was to avail the Gambia’s Tertiary and Higher Education institutions the opportunities offered by the Erasmus+ Program and to provide them with the necessary information, guidance and tools necessary to increase their participation in the Erasmus+ Program so as to submit high quality proposals to win projects.

The Erasmus+ Programme is an EU program in the field of education, training, youth and sports for the period 2021-2027 to support through lifelong learning, educational, professional and personal development of people in education, training, youth and sports in Europe and beyond, thereby, contributing to sustainable growth, quality jobs and social cohesion, to driving innovation and to strengthening European identity and active citizenship.

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The Honourable Minister of Higher Education Research Science and Technology, Prof. Pierre Gomez, highlighted the significance of the joint Erasmus+ programme as well as its partnership with the Ministry. Minister Gomez spoke on the crucial ways in which Universities can explore the Erasmus+ programme in order to maximise gains, explore avenues for international mobility and exchange programmes, capacity building projects, joint Master’s degree programmes, research collaboration, innovative learning methods, entrepreneurship initiatives, quality assurance, accreditation, networking opportunities and short-term mobility and staff training.

On the issue of quality assurance and accreditation, Minister Gomez noted that these are vital components of the Erasmus+ programme, emphasising the need for aligning the Ministry’s educational programmes to European standards. This he pointed, will ease accreditation issues and ensure participation in projects related to quality assurance. In the same vein, it would be an avenue for local universities in The Gambia to improve their internal processes, benchmark against international best practices, and elevate the quality and relevance of educational provision. 

Minister Gomez urged all stakeholders, educators, policymakers, students and researchers to actively engage with the Erasmus+ programme. Thus, he encouraged them to seize the rare opportunity the programme affords them in order to forge meaningful partnerships, enhance diversity, and harness the transformative power of international collaboration.

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Speaking on behalf of the European Union Ambassador to the Gambia, Ms. Aisha Sillah, elaborated on key areas of interest that the Erasmus+ programme provides through the European Union which stands as a beacon of collaboration and excellence in education offering a myriad of opportunities for students, educators, and institutions across Europe and beyond.

Ms. Sillah enumerated that the Erasmus programme is a golden opportunity for Gambians to broaden their horizons, enrich their academic experiences, and enhance their future prospects. She noted that the programme offers students the chance to study at prestigious universities abroad, experience new cultures, and develop valuable skills that are essential in today’s globalised world.

Ms. Sillah further stressed the importance of the EU’s nomination of the Erasmus+ focal point Officer in the Gambia, whose appointment she noted, will serve as a significant milestone in fostering the EU Erasmus+ programme implementation in The Gambia. She further noted that the focal point will serve as a central coordinator for Erasmus+ activities, promoting awareness of opportunities, and providing support and guidance to students, staff and institutions across the country.

The event was moderated by the Erasmus+ Focal Point of The Gambia and Principal Science and Technology and Innovation Officer of the Ministry, Mr. Edward A. Mendy.

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