Cuttington University in Suakoko, Bong County and Temple University based in the United States have signed a student exchange agreement to pave the way for students of both universities to interact in the classroom.
Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryon
Cuttington Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryor, said the student exchange program with Temple University is necessary because it promotes advancement in the educational sector, specifically the latter being one of the leading 20 research oriented higher institutions of learning in the United States.
Dr. Wonkeryor said Temple also offers diverse professional degrees in civil and mechanical engineering, architecture, environmental studies, medicines, public health, podiatry, and other bio-medical and natural sciences as well as business administration, strategic management, international marketing, finance, accounting, and actuarial science, among other disciplines
He said the signing is the second phase of the student exchange agreement, which was first entered into in 2010 when Cuttington President, Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa, went to the United States of America to attend the Liberia studies conference hosted by Temple University.
Dr. Wonkeryor, who holds advanced degrees in communications and Africana studies, once served as Radio Manager at the Liberian Broadcasting System (LBS) in the 1980s. He said it was during the Liberian studies program that Dr. Tokpa and other senior executives of Cuttington University reached a decision to enter into a student exchange program with Temple University.
The CU Provost, who is also a former professor of communications and African-American studies at Temple University said, he saw it as an obligation while at Temple University to open room for educational opportunity that would be rewarding for Liberia since he was the only Liberian on the teaching faculty of Temple University.
He said as a Liberian who benefited from the Liberian government’s generous scholarship in the 1970s to acquire quality education from the United States and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (U.S.S.R.), he deems it necessary to make his contribution to the rebuilding of Liberia through such endeavor.
Dr. Wonkeryor said Temple University is engaged in empowering the minority population to be exposed to the dimensionality of science education, which will place them in competent positions to become future medical doctors, bio-medical scientists, mathematicians and social scientists to positively contribute to the growth of global societies, including Africa.
He disclosed that three undergraduate students have been selected by Cuttington University to depart Liberia for Temple University in June 2014 to participate in a boot camp for future scientists for three weeks. He said their participation in the science boot camp will serve as a prelude to the students’ acceptance in a one-year exchange program which begins in September 2014 and ends in May 2015 at Temple University.
He said two of the students, reading Biology and Chemistry are part of the first phase of the exchange program, which will expose them to the theoretical knowledge of bio-medical sciences as a precursor to their matriculation into the graduate programs at Temple University.
According to Professor Wonkeryor, a faculty at Cuttington has just returned from Temple University on a study visit at the Bio-Medical Sciences Department at the College of Science and Technology. Mr. Eementary Kpoeh, lecturer at Cuttington University’s Biology Department presented lectures, interacted with his contemporaries and participated in research activities at Temple University.
Both Universities will shoulder responsibilities for the movement of students from Liberia and the United States of America, though the first one year tuition of students from Liberia will be paid by Temple University. Dr. Wonkeryo said Cuttington University will ensure that a legal framework is designed to disallow beneficiaries of the exchange program from remaining in America after their studies.