Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Cornell's African Degree Program Creates New Model for International Educational Cooperation

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Cornell's African Degree Program Creates New Model for International Educational Cooperation

Article excerpt

Cornell University and Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia have signed an agreement that could create a new model for how U.S. colleges and universities can export their expertise to poor nations where it is needed most.

On Nov. 1, Cornell professors will travel to Bahir Dar to help establish a graduate program in international agriculture and rural development at Bahir Dar University. Upon graduation, students will receive a master's in professional studies from Cornell without ever spending any time in Ithaca.

"Our goal is not only to teach individual students skills that are critical for economic development but to strengthen African educational institutions" says Dr. Alice Pell, director of Cornell's International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development, who cultivated the program along with Dr. Tammo Steenhuis, a professor of biological and environmental engineering.

"Over the years, Cornell and other colleges have had many exchange programs that brought international students to the United States" Pell says, "but one of the limitations of this approach is that too many of them stayed here and didn't take those skills back home. Rather than bring African students to get an education at Cornell, this program will bring Cornell's educational resources to Africa. …

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