Cameroonian Minister meets educationalists at ACU

Cameroonian Minister meets educationalists at ACU

Published on 04 September 2013

The Cameroon Minister for External Relations, HE Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo, paid a visit to the offices of the ACU, leading a delegation of Cameroonian diplomats. The delegation met a group of UK-based educationalists convened by the ACU to discuss increasing participation in higher education and boosting academic excellence.

The ACU tapped into its network of members and partners to facilitate the Minister in meeting Professor Annie Bligh (HE Collaboration Coordinator, University of Westminster); Professor Vincent Emery (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Surrey); Professor Graham Furniss (Commonwealth Scholarship Commissioner and Professor, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London); Mr Tim Gore (Director Global Networks and Communities, University of London International Programmes); Mr Mike Winter (Director of International Affairs, Institute of Education); and Mr Tony Pimm (International  Director of Aylsebury College, Buckingham New University) to explore possible areas of mutual collaboration.

High on the agenda were matters concerning the exchange of students and academic staff and the development of stronger relations between UK and Cameroonian institutions in academic, scientific and technical areas. The Minister, being a professor himself, acknowledged the need for effective curriculum development that is in line with national priorities, but with a global outlook.

‘The ACU is all about boosting the sector as a whole and helping universities and their stakeholders engage in meaningful dialogue in order to achieve their shared goals. We are in a unique and privileged position to provide our members with access to key decision makers and have their voices heard,’ said Joyce Achampong, the ACU’s Director of External Engagement.

‘The Minister’s visit highlights the Cameroon government’s commitment to addressing the issues present in Cameroonian higher education and also the need to forge international linkages through the Commonwealth. The world of higher education is a global one, requiring its leaders to be committed to creating collaboration through effective communication,’ she added.

Dr John Kirkland and Professor Mbonjo

Deputy Secretary General of the ACU, Dr John Kirkland, alongside Prof Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo

In an exemplification of the strength of pre-existing links between the two countries, current Cameroonian Chevening and Commonwealth Scholars were also present and had the opportunity to interact with the Minister and HE Nkwelle Ekaney, the Cameroonian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, in a round table discussion.

Dr Boghuma Kabisen Titanji (2011 Commonwealth Scholar, University College London), Dr Samuel Anye Angwafor (2012 Commonwealth Scholar, University College London) and Gilbert Ngwaneh Miki (2012 Chevening Scholar, University of Sheffield) shared their overwhelmingly positive experiences of being Cameroonian scholars on award in the UK and spoke candidly about their hopes for their careers and their desire to positively impact on the future of Cameroon when they return.

‘This has been a rich experience and studying in the UK is in itself a privilege. We [Scholars] feel that all the knowledge that we have acquired whilst studying here must be put into practice, and there is nowhere better to do this than back in Cameroon,’ Dr Angwafor said.

The Minister and High Commissioner with Scholars

l-r: HE Nkwelle Ekaney; Dr Samuel Anye Angwafor; HE Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo; Dr Boghuma Kabisen Titanji; Gilbert Ngwaneh Miki