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AU and Claflin U: Working to Expand Partnership

Africa University hosted a visit to its main campus near Mutare, Zimbabwe by Dr. Charles Richardson, Jr. of the School of Business at Claflin University.

Africa University faculty visited the U.S. in August to explore academic research partnership and collaboration with several institutions, including Claflin University and Meharry Medical College.

Africa University (AU) and Claflin University moved one step closer to full implementation of an expanded partnership in May.

Dr. Sungano Mharakurwa and Dr. Walter Manyangarirwa of AU's College of Health, Agriculture and Natural Sciences began the visit in Orangeburg, SC. They met with Dr. Gloria McCutcheon and Dr. Verlie A. Tisdale of Claflin University. McCutcheon, an internationally-recognized researcher, has been supporting teaching and learning in the department of agriculture at Africa University since the late 1990s. Tisdale is the dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Claflin University.

As United Methodist-related institutions, Africa University and Claflin University share a mandate to nurture principled, visionary and proactive leaders who think globally and act locally. The two universities are similar in size and research and academic interests. Africa University has an annual full-time enrollment around 1,500 students, compared to around 2,100 full-time students at Claflin University.

Africa University and Claflin University are implementing a linkage agreement, signed in March 2016,  that provides a framework for joint research and academic program delivery as well as student and faculty exchanges.

Both institutions are prioritizing innovation and providing programs and a learning experience that students and faculty enjoy and find relevant to the needs of a global human capital marketplace.

"AU is a remarkable university that is bold in its outlook and never shies away from change," said Richardson. "In the higher education sector, we tend to lean more towards what has worked in the past and are not too keen on trying new things. That is not true of this university, and I am excited to be here and to find pathways through which we can partner with you and grow together."

From South Carolina, AU representatives traveled to the University of Tennessee's Institute of Agriculture in Knoxville, and to Meharry Medical College in Nashville. They summarized their partnership discussions during the visit as "positive" and holding "great potential".

Andra M. Stevens, Director, Communications, Africa University Development Office

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Africa University Fund transforms Africa by educating and empowering students from across the continent through Africa University, the first fully accredited, United Methodist-related educational institution on the continent. The Africa University Fund supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Africa University Fund at 100 percent.


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