University alumni group in The Gambia

Gambia visit

Fri, 08 Feb 2013 08:33:00 GMT

In January, the University launched an alumni group in The Gambia. It was supported by School of Education and Professional Development former student, the Honourable Fatou Lamin Faye, Minister for Basic and Secondary Education in the Gambia, and now Honorary President of the Alumni society.  University staff hosted an event to celebrate the establishment of the society and the achievements of University alumni, many of whom have made significant contributions to their country.  The new alumni group will facilitate communication and contact between former students and keep them in touch with developments at the University of Huddersfield.

The alumni event was covered by national press, 'Foyoyaa' and 'The Voice', in The Gambia, and on national television. It took place at the Jaama Hall, Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi and was organised and supported by the Gambian National Training Authority whose acting Director, Edrissa Kolley, is also a former student of the university.  The master of ceremonies was Mr Ebrima Dondeh who emphasised how many students from the Gambia had benefited from study in Huddersfield since he had graduated in 1976.  The Honourable Fatou Lamin Faye said that she had found her university experience to be an ‘eye opener’, helping her to have the vision to understand and appreciate what it takes to lead and transform organisations.  She also pointed out that many Huddersfield graduates held, or are holding, important roles in government and society in The Gambia. 

Representing the University was Dr Ann Harris, Head of the Division of Academic and Postgraduate Studies in the School of Education and Professional Development, who emphasised the University’s proud and long history of higher education and vocational training.  She also highlighted the significance of both to economic growth, social and political development and to global participation and communication.  Ann described how the relationship between the two countries had been fostered by a shared belief in the value of education.  She was accompanied in the event by Stephen Drysdale and Elena Nikoulina of the International Office and by Lyn Hall of the School of Education who had taught many of the former students and has been pivotal in developing international links.

It is hoped that this cementing of an already strong relationship between the countries will lead to fruitful dialogue between the University of Huddersfield and key educational institutions in The Gambia.

See our photos on our Facebook page of the event.

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