Connecticut College has announced a partnership with Ashesi University College in Berekuso, Ghana, that will allow students and faculty from both institutions to explore opportunities for increased global learning and understanding.
The partnership was formalized with a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron and Ashesi President Patrick Awuah at Ashesi’s campus.
“Our institutions share a common goal of developing students into ethical leaders with a vision for a better world,” said Bergeron. “This agreement will create a new kind of opportunity for students and faculty with vastly different experience to work together and share perspectives in order to address the complex problems of our global society."
The partnership promotes collaboration between the two institutions in international education and in academic research. Together, the colleges will consider the development of cooperative programs, including: an exchange of undergraduate students, faculty exchanges, development of joint research and teaching activities, and other mutually beneficial collaborative activities.
Of particular interest to both institutions is the development of an integrated program on the Ashesi campus that would allow students from both schools to take courses together taught by Connecticut College faculty. Conn students would benefit from joint classes and the campus immersion experience, and Ashesi students would have access to a broader range of class offerings as well as classmates. Other options under consideration include globally networked learning that brings together geographically distant faculty and students from different backgrounds to collaborate through the use of online communication tools.
Connecticut College has a strong history of commitment to global education that is reflected in the College’s mission to “educate students to put the liberal arts into action as citizens in a global society.”
In 2014, the College received a $700,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support international initiatives and foster integration in global learning. The grant funding has supported strategic efforts to integrate off-campus experiences into the curriculum and to enhance strategies for global education, including language acquisition and study abroad. Through the Mellon Global Education Initiative, Connecticut College has also begun focusing on building strong ties to institutions abroad and identified a range of partnership opportunities with institutions of higher education and community-based organizations in China, South Korea, Nicaragua, Poland, Mexico, Cuba, Spain, Germany and Bulgaria.
The official partnership between Connecticut College and Ashesi grew out of exploratory exchanges between the two colleges during the 2015-16 academic year. Two delegations from Connecticut College visited Ashesi, in October and March. In May, Connecticut College welcomed an Ashesi arts and sciences professor and two student representatives to New London.
“The Ashesi partnership will be an important model as we continue to enhance our students’ global perspectives and help them develop into creative, adaptive and resourceful thinkers,” said Amy Dooling, associate dean of global initiatives, director of the Global Commons and professor of Chinese, who was a member of the initial delegation to Ghana. “With our shared commitment to a transformative liberal arts education, together, Ashesi and Connecticut College will develop the next generation of leaders.”
With the goal of transforming Africa by educating a new generation of ethical and entrepreneurial leaders, Patrick Awuah, a native Ghanaian and a 2015 recipient of the prestigious MacArthur “genius grant,” founded Ashesi in 2002. The college’s academic program is steeped in the liberal arts and sciences and is focused on helping students develop the critical thinking, communications, technology, leadership, teamwork and innovation skills needed in today’s society.