MARCH 2018
Back in 2016, I was asked to join a group of scholars interested in discussing and evaluating the impact of international scholarships on global higher education. On a gloomy October day, we had a lively discussion trying to answer the question: does giving students mainly from emerging economies the opportunity to receive an education outside of their home countries lead to local and international social change? Well, the conversation did not end at that day. 
We answered this question in a book called International Scholarships in Higher Education: Pathways to Social Change edited by Joan R. Dassin, Robin R. Marsh and Matt Mawer.  The book was released late last year. I had the great honor of contributing a chapter in the book. The chapter is titled International Scholarships in the Ecosystem of Higher Education in Africa
The foundation of my chapter came from interviews I conducted with Paul Zeleza of United States International University (USIU), Tade Akin Aina of the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) and Patrick Awuah of Ashesi University. From their pioneering perspectives to my own thinking about scholarships and African higher education, it was a great opportunity to outline the historical conundrum of quantity vs quality or put directly, the massification of higher education in Africa vs the selection of a small of group of potential leaders to catalyze social change.
As part of the book launch, I will be on a panel on March 5, 2017 at the Open Society Foundation, 224 West 57 th  Street, New York, NY, 10019 (Lower Level Lobby). The panel discussion is from 5pm to 7pm. To RSVP, please send an email to .
The International University of Grand-Bassam (IUGB) has been accepted into the  Global Liberal Arts Alliance (GLAA) , Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Membership to GLAA is by nomination, evaluation and invitation only and IUGB is the 30th institution to join GLAA, which counts now five members in Africa, five in Asia, six in Europe, one in South America and thirteen in USA.

The Alliance was formally founded in 2009 in Washington, D.C. It operates in a multilateral partnership framework, bringing together international institutions committed to offer high-quality education. As members are driven by the concept of multilateral exchange, all are equally recognized for their valued potential in terms of ideas and expertise and share these with other members of the group. Global challenges affecting education are addressed and opportunities are equally shared among members.

GLAA is committed to strengthen the capacities of every member institution. Strengthened by members’ ideas and supported by foundations like the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Alliance is emerging among the best educational associations over the world.

Being member of such an alliance is an effective means for IUGB to fulfill its mission, which is to deliver an English-language liberal arts education in fields critical to Côte d’Ivoire and West Africa’s growth and development. 
Saturday, February 17, 2018, 2:00PM, Atlanta, Georgia . You may think Mary Mac’s Tearoom, a 1945 Atlanta landmark opened in the tough post-WWII days, is an odd place to discuss modern day topics such as global internships and scholarships, immigration and various educational and occupational challenges and solutions. 

However, on this rainy Saturday afternoon, that’s exactly what happened. A total of 14 AFNET (Alumni and Faculty Network) members, friends, and IUGB Foundation’s Executive Director Amini Kajunju and her team met to discuss the post-graduation landscape facing them and succeeding graduating cohorts.
IUGB Foundation/AFNET members and friends moved past the tourist crowds to enter the “Board Room,” an appropriate place for the business to follow. Each alumna/alumnus introduced themselves and revealed facts about them previously unknown. In addition to the multiple degrees they already held, we discovered among our group: a hairdresser, dancer, cook, interior designer, future politician and at least one fundraiser!

Subsequently, led by Ms. Kajunju, all identified and addressed their biggest issue: immigration. An animated conversation followed and contained many questions including those about the types of visas available--other than student visas--and how to best discover their options. Alumni also wanted ways to align and/or become closely affiliated with various organizations and businesses. In addition, because so many seek terminal degrees, they need financial resources and assistance with Master’s and PhD programs.

Nearly everyone desired to return to Côte d'Ivoire to live, work and build their own business. Our alumni are very interested in educational program diversity and fight hard against cultural pressures to ‘make a living’ rather than pursue their own passions. They acknowledged their own uniqueness: GPAs 3.57 or higher; a strong history of extracurricular program achievement and a record of having completed their degrees in half the time of resident students. Further, their IUGB education allowed them to transfer easily into the U.S. educational system. Finally, alumni pointed out how they will significantly contribute to the economies of multiple continents as many have worked, studied and interned worldwide previously. IUGB alumni present formidable ROI to all who have invested in their education. What’s next for AFNET? Among other things, IUGB Foundation will prepare and offer immigration, small business administration/entrepreneurship, and career workshops, and get AFNET involved in its coming events.  Way to do a working brunch, AFNET-thanks for your input!

We can't resist sharing the stories of our University's and alumni's incredible contributions to society. Here are just two examples of what some IUGB alumni have been up to:
Zie Dieudonne SORO (Class of 2017) received a scholarship from the African Business Education Initiative, offered by th e government of Japan to African students. This semester he has started a Master's degree in Economics and Finance at Waseda University in Tokyo. The program is over two years with a six-month internship with a J apanese company. Founded in 1882, Waseda is a private research University located in Shinjuku. It is very competitive with an acceptance rate of 17% (2015).
Adou Donatien (Class of 2015) graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a Minor in Economics. He received IUGB’s first Presidential Scholar Award to attend a summer school in the US. After IUGB, he received offers from four US institutions (Temple University, Georgia State University, University of Houston and the University of Missouri-Columbia), two in England (London School of Economics and Bristol University) and one in Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy) for fall 2017.  He opted for a fully-funded PhD program at the University of Missouri-Columbia because of their political science program that offers public policy as a sub-field. Adou may not be typical of every IUGB alumnus, but he does illustrate what can happen when superior talent and an outstanding educational institution come together.
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