UTG Hosts Erasmus+ International Staff Week


By Mariama Marong

The University of The Gambia, in collaboration with the University of Jaen in Spain, hosted the Erasmus+ International Staff Week (EISW) in Kanifing to strengthen the existing partnership between the two universities as well as foster the exchange of knowledge and ideas on International Development Cooperation.

The staff week provides a face-to-face platform for meaningful discussions and collaborative initiatives that transcend geographical boundaries, with participants bringing different ideas and perspectives that will enhance the quality of their collaboration.
Professor Herbert Robinson, the vice chancellor of the University, said international staff week serves as a unique collaborative avenue between the University of The Gambia and the University of Jaen as a significant milestone and commitment in fostering international partnerships and academic excellence.
“We are also making history as this is the first international staff week organised by the University of Jean in Africa, and the University of The Gambia is therefore delighted to be associated with this significant event,” Professor Robinson said.

He said The University of The Gambia is honored to host the event which brings together educators and professionals from diverse backgrounds, to share knowledge, experiences and innovative ideas, and noted that the Erasmus program has long been an instrument for collaboration and thepromotion of the mobility of staff and students, and cultural exchanges, to enhance the quality of education through shared expertise.
“As we speak, ten UTG students are in Spain for a semester and ten are leaving this week for another semester. Inaddition to the students, a selection process is underway for about ten staff who will benefit from the staff mobility component,” Professor Robinson said, describing itas a laudable initiative.

He highlighted that research is critical to address issues of policies relating to employment, migration and jobs, and said internationalization will address all three strategic areas necessary for advancing quality and relevant higher education.
Professor Jose Ignacio Jimenez Gonzalez, the Vice Rector of Internationalization and the University of Jaen, said it is the initiative of both Universities to discover potential opportunities and ideas by bringing new opportunities for their mutual benefits.He said the partnership will promote cooperation between The Gambia and Spain, and described the cooperation as natural.
“For a start, twenty students from The Gambia University will benefit from an exchange program meant for building strong learning opportunities and skills to both institutions,”Professor Jose said and called on the need to strengthen the cooperation for sharing opportunities.

He noted that research and innovation are very essential in the progressive development of any society.
LaminCeesay, thedirector of planning, budgeting and policyanalysis at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, said the International Staff Week holds a special place in their hearts because of their believe that it is in the realm of higher education that knowledge is created and shared. He said the event not only brings together professional staff within the University fraternity, but provides a platform where people inspire one another byexchanging ideas, and cultivating a culture of diverse perspectives through partnerships that transcend geographical boundaries.
Ceesay noted that Universities are not merely institutions of higher learning but crucibles of innovation, incubators of creativity and laboratories for cultivating global mindsets. He said Universities are instrumental in fostering growth, reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity. He said UTG will provide an expanded capacity for increased access to higher education to thousands of deserving students both within and outside The Gambia and will contribute to the realisation of the country’s development goals of building the requisite human capital, socio-economic growth and development.
NdumbeSaho, the director of diaspora and migration at the ministry of foreign affairs, said the staff week celebration is a clear testament of the collaboration between the two Universities, and said the international exchange program will provide knowledge and create opportunities,promote ideas and skills for the building of knowledge that will enhance greater development.