A delegation from the University of Botswana recently traveled to the University of Missouri-Rolla to formalize an agreement to collaborate on mining engineering endeavors.
UMR Provost Warren Kent Wray and UB Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Frank Youngman signed a memorandum of understanding of July 18 on behalf of the universities.
The two universities are finalizing details on a “3 plus 2 program” that will allow Botswana students to complete mining engineering degrees at UMR following three years of study at UB. The students in the program will spend the last two years at UMR.
UB is also interested in sending junior faculty to UMR for graduate programs. All students will be fully funded by Botswana’s Ministry of Education.
According to Dr. Samuel Frimpong, chair of UMR’s mining and nuclear engineering department, the first group of 10 Botswana students will transfer to UMR to participate in the new program during the 2009-2010 academic year.
“In the mid-1990s, UMR recruited more than 30 students from Botswana,” Frimpong says. “These students were fully sponsored by their government and were very successful. UMR and UB have since been exploring possibilities to continue this relationship.”
Jeanie Hofer, UMR’s director of international affairs, says the program will contribute to campus diversity objectives and provide a steady flow of new mining engineering students. Cultural and research exchanges are also planned.
In the coming years, UMR will help UB develop its own mining engineering department. Botswana is home to some of the world’s largest mining companies, including Anglo American, DeBeers and BCL.
UMR offers bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mining engineering. UMR operates its own Experimental Mine and is the only university in the world with a mine rescue team that competes with professional teams.
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