College Forges Academic Relationship with University of Ghana

Meeting between Arts and Sciences and University of Ghana leaders.
Officials from the University of Ghana (left) meet with Dr. Luoheng Han, Dr. Robert Olin, and Dr. Seth Appiah Opoku.

The University of Ghana was recently added to the College’s list of international partner institutions to provide study abroad opportunities for students following a trip to the African country last month.

Dr. Robert Olin, dean of the College, Dr. Luoheng Han, associate dean of the College, and Dr. Seth Appiah Opoku, an associate professor in the Department of Geography met with officials from the University of Ghana to discuss plans to put students from both universities together to promote academic exchanges. The Daily Graphic, the most widely-read newspaper in Ghana reported on the meeting

Based in Legon in the greater Accra region of Ghana, the University of Ghana is the oldest and largest university in the country with a student population of more than 29,000 students.

“The Alabama in Ghana initiative is aimed at blazing the trail for new connections to be made with our academic counterparts abroad. We look forward to developing relationships in the future that will advance the frontiers of knowledge and promote educational exchanges between both countries,” Olin said.

The partnership aims to foster collaboration between the two institutions, plans are underway for students from the two universities to pursue courses in either university and visit either university through the academic partnership. Next year, the college will launch a semester-long study abroad program led by Opoku.

The partnership will also provide a platform for students at both universities to interact through video conferences to share knowledge on various issues. A key component of the exchange will be the use of technology to enable students to interface with one another.

The Alabama Ghana connection is part of a broader movement of the world’s scholars to promote intra and inter-territorial studies to help prepare students of all nations for entry into a diversified world full of complex challenges and opportunities. Opoku echoed this sentiment in his comments to University of Ghana officials, where he described the world as becoming a global village where technology can connect people across geographical distances.

For the last nine years the College has sponsored a two-week study abroad trip, led by Opoku through the Department of Geography, where students visited sites around Ghana including a diamond mine, a slave castle, a monkey sanctuary, and a traditional bead-making village. Other aspects of the trip included studying African culture and doing service projects. This relationship served as the launching point for a more significant academic exchange.

Alabama in Ghana joins the ranks of the many successful international study initiatives developed by the College including the Cuba Initiative, the China Initiative, and Alabama in Greece.