Arden representatives travel to Africa for education symposium

Debra Hinds

Debra Hinds, Arden University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor International, was one of the guest speakers at the Forum for Innovation in African Universities (FIAU)’s 3rd Annual Global Meeting.

Taking place on Friday 7th July in Abuja, Nigeria, the event’s theme revolved around “Strengthening Africa’s Higher Education in a Post COVID-19 World”. 

FIAU is the foremost University-Industry Partnership network dedicated to fostering meaningful partnerships to strengthen Africa’s higher education system through intellectual debate and resource mobilisation. 

The symposium was attended by key higher education stakeholders in Nigeria as well as the VC/DVCs of 150 universities. The keynote addressed widening access to participation in higher education via digitalisation to help prevent the brain drain from Africa.   

A white paper has been written to guide African Universities to become more entrepreneurial by using strategic partnerships for capacity building. This was formally promoted by the Founders, Paschal Anosike and Claus Schneider, and the newly appointed Acting Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Universities Commission Chris Maiyaki.  

Debra gave a presentation on Arden University's strategic vision, that everyone, everywhere is entitled to higher education, enabled by digital first technology.

Whilst acknowledging that Africa has additional challenges in accessing internet connectivity, the versatility of Arden's programmes was promoted and its openness to work collaboratively with the African Universities represented in the FIAU general meeting. 

The discussions generated a lot of interest in Arden University which Debra and her team are following up.

Debra and Bayo Awesu, Arden University’s International Director of Student Recruitment, also made the most of their time in the region by speaking to a number of student recruitment agents. 

‘As Arden University looks to expand and diversify our international student cohorts, it’s incredibly important that we partner with the right type of agents who share our vision for student success,’ Bayo said. 

Being able to visit established agents such as QS and BCIE in Nigeria is invaluable in allowing us to train counsellors on our processes and teaching style. It also helps us learn the best approaches to position our university to prospective students in the region. The dialogue in these meetings was really healthy, and having opportunity to talk to prospective Arden students'.