By Ebele Orakpo
TO enhance the educational experience and cross-cultural understanding of students and faculty of the American University of Nigeria, Yola and Marlboro College, USA, both institutions recently entered into partnership.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed to that effect by Dr. Dawn Dekle, president of the AUN and her Marlboro College counterpart, Dr. Kevin Quigley when the latter visited AUN.
According to a release made available to Vanguard, “the cooperative relationship aims to cultivate engaged learning between students and faculty from AUN and Marlboro College through student exchanges while providing for other joint academic endeavours, such as summer programs or faculty exchanges of mutual benefit.”
Giving further details on the MoU, Dekle said: “American University of Nigeria is partnering with the Marlboro College learning community because of Marlboro’s unique liberal arts approach and ‘intentional’ structure of the school. The mission and values of Marlboro mirror our AUN philosophy of education, which is ‘complete education’ and meant to develop academics and skills through coursework and practical training.
“The World Studies Program, Clear Writing Requirement, and Town Meetings at Marlboro allow students to forge deep friendships with other students who have different backgrounds than their own, and allow them to understand how a learning community operates and their own place and responsibility in that educational environment.”
Said Quigley who serves on the Board of Trustees at AUN: “Marlboro is committed to offering students international experiences that expand their horizons and launch them into a life of meaningful work.” He noted that although they already have partnerships in many countries but their first collaboration in Africa is at AUN.
Quigley, a former President and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association, had worked with AUN Founder and Nigeria’s former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar and a former National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter, the late Robert Pastor, to launch the Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award which recognises individuals whose lives were influenced by their interactions with volunteers, leading to a life of service to community and country.
In 2011 at the 50th anniversary of the US Peace Corps, HE Atiku Abubakar was honored with the Global Award for his contributions to higher education, community development, and democracy in Africa.
“AUN is an ideal partner for Marlboro, with a focus on arts and sciences, but also technology and entrepreneurship, in the interest of future sustainable development,” said Maggie Patari, director of global learning and international services at Marlboro. “We are fortunate to have this new partner providing the skills and leadership to help students address the social and economic challenges in the region, and the world.”