IIE Networker - Fall 2005 - (Page 42)

Knowledge Network Africa Diversity in International Education Cultivating Nontraditional Exchanges in Sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopia By Nagy Tibor A trip to Ethiopia results in the discovery of a myriad of opportunities to foster exchange between Sub-Saharan African and U.S. students and scholars. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region least understood and visited by U.S. students and scholars, and it also offers the most limited exchange opportunities. This, along with Africa’s almost total absence from U.S. media coverage (except when war, famine or natural disasters strike the continent) serves to perpetuate our national ignorance, as well as Africa’s isolation. With the hope of developing exchange opportunities beyond currently available African programs—which tend to focus on Southern Africa, Ghana, and Kenya—a group of 13 faculty and administrators from seven U.S. academic institutions visited Ethiopia in January 2005. Dr. Tech Wubneh, Director of International Programs at Middle Tennessee State University, planned Mekelle University, which was started in 1991 by a small group of faculty and students who and organized the orientation trip and initially conducted classes under a tree. recruited representatives from Vanderbilt University, the Tennessee State Board of Regents, Roane State flew about 600 miles to Mekelle, an attractive city of 200,000 University, Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, which serves as Tigray’s capital and the commercial, industrial, and Texas Tech University. and transport center for Northern Ethiopia. Mekelle University is The U.S. group visited Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, and an especially impressive facility. The university was started in then traversed Tigray, Ethiopia’s northern region and center of 1991 by a small group of faculty and students who initially conthe ancient Axumite Empire. In Addis Ababa the group toured ducted classes under a tree. Now, Mekelle University boasts Unity University—established in 1995 as one of Ethiopia’s first 15,000 students and a modern campus that integrates Axumite private universities. Unity is not only developing an impressive designs in its highly original architecture and offers studies in campus and instituting a comprehensive curriculum, it is also law, business, medicine, arts and sciences, agriculture, engineerseeking to dramatically increase the number of women students ing and architecture. Even more impressive than its growth in and faculty. (In much of Africa the participation of women in infrastructure and programs are Mekelle University’s dynamic, higher education is still very low.) From Addis Ababa the group creative and visionary leaders who consider Ethiopia’s myriad

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2005

IIE Networker - Fall 2005
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
Study Abroad for Students of Color
Programmatic Diversity Versus Unplanned Information Flows
Nurturing Leadership and Social Change: The Mission of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program
Study Abroad
Study Abroad
Science and Engineering
Students with Disability
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Fall 2005