The Ag. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang, has called on former Mayor of Charlottesville, Mr. Dave Norris, to assist the University to forge academic collaborations with the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA.
Prof. Ofori-Birikorang revealed UEW is interested in collaborating in the areas of research and other activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) as well as education policy.
The Ag. Vice-Chancellor made these remarks at the Council Chamber of the University when an eleven-member delegation from Charlottesville, USA, with officials of the Effutu Municipal Assembly, called on the University to thank Management for its hospitality to the Assembly and the guests from Charlottesville.
“If you’re here, you are at the right place because the city of Winneba is the city of the University of Education, Winneba. UEW and Winneba as a Municipality have a symbiotic relationship; we are together, our destiny is tied. Now, if the Municipality of Winneba grows, it affects and impacts our University. If this University grows it affects and impacts the development of the Efutu Municipality. That is why from time to time, the leadership of this University and the Mayor of the Municipality must cooperate, collaborate and work in the interest of its residents.
“We have a student population of about 69,000, about 28,000 of whom are Distance Education students. The rest of the 41,000 are residents in this Municipality. As a University that is the fastest-growing in Ghana in terms of population, we are interested in collaborating in research and other activities. We are all talking about STEAM. Where does it start? Where are we going? What have we done? How can you support us? We can do a lot with the University of Virginia in this direction,” he indicated.
Mr. Norris, who led the delegation from Charlottesville, pointed out that Winneba and Charlottesville are both rich in culture, history, size, population and are also university communities, hence, the partnership between both cities. He stated that since 2009 when Charlottesville and Winneba became sister cities, a lot of donations had been done to some institutions in Winneba in fulfilment of the partnership agreement.
Mr. Norris expressed hope in assisting to connect the University of Virginia to UEW. “This sister city partnership is all about mutual benefits and how we can build relationships, support, and learn from each other. We feel like there is a lot of room for growth when it comes to university collaboration.
“There is a whole lot of opportunities to collaborate. It could be study abroad, faculty exchange programme, joint research projects and all kinds of possibilities. We’ve always been warmly received by the University of Education, Winneba but we really want to see the University of Virginia step up and hopefully this is the year we can finally make that concrete and get some more collaboration going on between the two universities. So, we would love to explore some possibilities with you.”
The Municipal Chief Executive of Effutu, Hon. Alhaji Zubairu Kassim, on his part, expressed gratitude to the Management of UEW for providing vehicles to assist with the movement of the guests from Charlottesville since 2009. “In fact, since time immemorial our guests have been coming here, the University has been assisting with vans that would take them anywhere they want to go. On behalf of the people of Winneba and the Assembly, we’re grateful for all the University has done to date.”