Rutgers University Delegation Visits University of Botswana to Strengthen Relations

RutgersA delegation from Rutgers University in the United States of America on April 11, 2023 visited University of Botswana as part of strengthening relations in different areas of engineering, business, global health, research, training, students and staff exchanges.

Rutgers University also sought collaboration in strengthening leadership, capacity-building and knowledge transfer to assist Botswana in its drive towards a knowledge-based economy.

The delegation comprised Vice President for Global Affairs, Professor Eric Garfunkel, Assistant Vice President for Global Affairs, Ms Ji-Yeung Jan, Director Rutgers Global Health Institute, Professor Richard Marlink, Vice Dean for Innovation and Strategy, Rutgers Business School, Professor Can Uslay, Rutgers Business School Assistant Dean International Programmes, Professor Dietrich Tschnanz, Rutgers School of Engineering Interim Dean, Professor Alberto Cuitino.

Giving welcome remarks, UB Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, said the university was going through transformation that was anchored on research as well as to create impact in society. Professor Norris underscored the importance of research for a developing country like Botswana. Therefore, he said part of the transformation was to turn UB into a high-performance organization with agile, effective and efficient processes.

He noted that UB was also restructuring to introduce business-like operations. Professor Norris further highlighted that UB was reconfiguring faculties to promote inter-disciplinary work. He appealed to Rutgers University to assist UB with joint supervision of postgraduate students, co-authorship of research articles and leadership training at all levels.

For his part, Rutgers University Vice President for Global Affairs, Professor Eric Garfunkel, said the institution was focused on academic excellence as well as local and international community engagement. Professor Garfunkel also mentioned that the institution had close to US$ 1bn budget a year for research expenditure.

On research highlights, Professor Garfunkel said the institution was ranked number one in research on women gender space, woman in history, number two in health professions and three in philosophy in the United States of America. He said Rutgers University was ranked top 25 in the arts and science field, history, English and computer science and physics.

Rutgers2Professor Garfunkel said they were considering sending undergraduates, graduates and scholars to UB under the student exchange programme. He said their major research initiatives included climate and energy, nutritional science, plant biology, food science, ecology, evolution and environmental studies, RUCOOL and marine science, microbiome, chemistry, engineering and pharmacy.

Meanwhile, Director Rutgers Global Health Institute, Professor Richard Marlink said they worked in collaboration with the Ministry of Health on research projects and training on non-communicable diseases and HIV AIDS.

The Rutgers University delegation also visited Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Faculty of Business, Faculty of Health Sciences, Office of International Education Partnerships and facilities such as Campus Indoor Sports Centre and Conference Centre to explore other possible areas for providing assistance.

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