The Commission of the African Union and FDU Announce Educational Initiative
Teaneck, NJ (September 29, 2009) The Commission of the African Union (AU) and Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) are proud and pleased to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding that will develop educational opportunities for FDU students, identify and provide technical expertise for the African Union, and jointly explore ventures to support and advance higher education on the African continent. The official signing by President J. Michael Adams of FDU and His Excellency Jean Ping of the African Union Commission took place on September 29, 2009 in the Manhattan offices of the AU.
Among other initiatives, FDU and the AU have agreed to share information relating to activities of mutual interest and promote the exchange and training of students and researchers. FDU will help establish the Pan African University and African Research Centers. The AU and FDU shall develop an internship program for students interested in African studies and assisting the AU. FDU shall provide faculty expertise to the AU and potential technical assistance in strengthening higher education in Africa. In addition, FDU promises to explore possibilities for further collaborations among members of the higher education sector with the AU.
FDU President J. Michael Adams said, "We are humbled and honored that the African Union has selected Fairleigh Dickinson University as its partner in this important initiative. As an institution devoted to global education and the preparation of world citizens, FDU is well positioned to play an important role in the development of higher education in Africa. And we believe our students will gain valuable lessons by becoming involved in direct efforts that further the cause of education in Africa. We look forward to a strong and productive partnership."
FDU Associate Provost for Global Learning Jason Scorza said, "Fairleigh Dickinson University is the first institution of higher education in the United States to formally pledge its support to the creation of a Pan African University. Once established, the Pan African University will help to reverse the problem of brain drain that afflicts many African countries and will provide a higher education infrastructure to serve African countries unable to support universities on their own."
More than thirty students, including two Fulbright scholars, from 17 African countries presently attend Fairleigh Dickinson University. Past students have included diplomats from Sierra Leone, Sudan, Comoros, Morocco, Benin, Niger, Angola, and Mozambique.