A cooperation agreement between Anderson University, South Carolina and Anchor University, Lagos will open opportunities for academic study, research, professional development and other mutually beneficial activities.
Anderson University entered into an agreement with Anchor University in Lagos, Nigeria, for cooperation between the two institutions in areas including exchange of students or faculty/staff, joint research activities and publications, participation in seminars and academic meetings, exchange of academic materials and other information, special short-term academic programs, professional development and training workshops and collaborative online international learning.
With the support of Academic Affairs, the Center for Global Engagement is responsible for the management and oversight of all international academic agreements.
“We met with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor to discuss ways they envisioned a partnership with Anderson. Thereafter, we review our mission and goals to determine and select a framework for developing a successful partnership,” said Ann Themistocleous, director of the Center for Global Engagement. A general MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) is an initial agreement that outlines ways that both universities will explore developing their partnership and thereafter, future agreements are developed.
Themistocleous continued, “In the MOU we mention an option on performing joint research. With Academic Affairs and the college deans, we would help develop an additional agreement to explore what research would be done and how it would be shared. Faculty members who are active internationally, like Dr. (Jeff) Moore, help Anderson University make these connections possible.”
Anderson University Provost Dr. Ryan Neal and Anchor University Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr. Johnson Oladele Fatokun (pictured above) signed the three-year agreement on October 7, 2022 at Anderson University. They were joined by Dr. Evie Maxey, associate dean, and Dr. Jeff Moore, both of the Anderson University College of Business; Dr. Gilbert Eyabi, a mathematics professor in the Anderson University College of Arts and Sciences and interim dean of the Anderson University College of Engineering; Dr. Tim McKnight, religion professor in the Anderson University College of Christian Studies; and Ann Themistocleous, director, and Jordan Anderson, international program advisor, both of the Anderson University Center for Global Engagement.
Anderson University has a diversity of faculty representing nations from around the globe; four of them are from Nigeria: Dr. Stephen Ojo of the College of Engineering, Dr. Olukayode Karunwi and Dr. Kolawaole Olaiya of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Nnenna Igwe, associate professor and anatomist in the Anderson University College of Health Professions.
Anderson University and Anchor University are both members of the Consortium of Global Education (CGE), a cohort of Christian universities around the world. Anderson University is a founding member and Anchor University recently joined CGE as an affiliate.
Dr. Fatokun commented that he is grateful to God for helping him overcome several hurdles to travel to the U.S. to meet with Anderson University officials.
Dr. Moore commented, “Thirty-five years ago, Anderson was part of founding CGE, the Consortium for Global Education. The goal is to connect universities and provide opportunities for its faculty and students. CGE meets every year on one of the member campuses and its presidents, vice presidents and provosts work together to create international opportunities. When Dr. Fatokun had trouble obtaining his US visa, we prayed ‘Father, please make a way for our brother to come.’ Through a couple of miracles he was granted a visa (the next appointment the embassy gave him was two years in the future). But God made it happen.”
Dr. Fatokun spent time on the Anderson University campus meeting with faculty to discuss the partnership.
“Anderson University and Anchor University have so many things in common. One major thing is being a faith based university. We believe in the gospel. We believe in giving the best to the students to make it a total package—spiritual, moral, and then the academics,” said Dr. Fatokun.
“The most important thing we do is bear witness to Christ in all that we do. My sense is we have some affinity with your university. Different geography, different population, but the same mission and same purpose,” said Dr. Neal.
Dr. Eyabi explained that the collaboration and exchange of students is two-way, saying, “They have a degree in electronics and physics and that links directly with our Electrical and Computer engineering majors in the college of engineering. Dr. Fatokun is a professor of Mathematics and gave a presentation to the mathematics department at AU on his current research, which resonated with many of our Mathematics professors. This is an area of collaboration. We’re looking at opportunities for our students to visit for a semester or a couple of weeks and to see how electronics and other courses are taught in an African setting, what technology and equipment are used, and what internship opportunities may be available overseas. Just bringing together our combined knowledge could be a huge benefit for us in the U.S. and for them in Africa.”
The Consortium for Global Education (CGE) is a non-profit global organization with a membership of accredited American private universities and colleges with consortium member campuses, located in more than 23 USA states and six nations, are equally committed to quality programs of international education.