By Sise Sawaneh
The Vice Chancellor, University of the Gambia, Professor Faqir Muhammed Anjum has called on the Gambia government to pay keen attention to its tertiary institutions and commit more funding to research and development as most developed countries.
Speaking at the at the 6th international meeting on U6 vice chancellors held at the UTG’s auditorium in Kanifing, Professor Arjum said the U6 agenda is important for The Gambia as a country to strive and reposition itself in the global world, noting the emergence of new Gambia after 22 years of dictatorship.
The U6 is a consortium that comprises universities from West, East and Southern Africa with the aim of enhancing cooperation among member institutions in various sectors of university life.
According to Professor Arjum, the consortium has the objectives among other things to cooperate in a variety of joint academic and educational activities to organize, promote and coordinate long and short term faculty and student exchange programs. He noted that it will also enhance capacity development of the partner universities to carry out relevant research and to supervise joint post graduate projects.
Arjum revealed that the U6 agenda is in line with UTG’s mission of promoting research and development activities through collaborative and multidisciplinary strategies while emphasizing that it will also play its rightful role in the production of knowledge through research and innovation.
The Minister of higher education, research, science and technology, Badara A Joof said Africa is one of the richest continents, yet so much potentials and little performance.
He noted that African universities have a role to play in the problems and must look up for excellence, quality education and self actualization.
Minister Joof therefore called on African universities to make their citizens first class and respond to their development agenda and for more robust educational system to put an end to all the challenges the continent is faced with.
The Interim chairman, UTG governing council, Matthew P Ndure said the UTG despite its remarkable achievements is in its infancy and needs guidance, nurturing and therefore stands to be a main beneficiary in the joint venture.
He said the consortium will thrive if they remain faithful to the original laudable ideals and strive to be relevant to the needs of members mainly by being innovative.
The vice chancellors of llorin and Calabar Universities in Nigeria, Professor Age Abdul Kareem and Professor Zana Akpagu respectively all noted that more avenues will be created to sending students, faculty members for fruitful exchanges, learn from experiences and new ideas. The duo noted that they will look into the challenges that affect all the concerned universities under the U6.