Official Launch: University Partnerships Initiative in Rwanda
Representatives from the U.S. Department of State join University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green to announce a new partnership. Learn more about the University Partnerships & Exchange (UPEX) Rwanda Program at https://go.unl.edu/upex
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[00:00:09.040]I'm delighted to congratulate
[00:00:11.370]the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
[00:00:13.710]and its partners in Rwanda
[00:00:15.830]on the launch of this exciting project.
[00:00:18.570]I'm proud to see the University Partnership Initiative
[00:00:22.140]or UPI strengthened collaboration
[00:00:24.860]between American colleges and universities
[00:00:27.570]and their peer institutions on the African continent.
[00:00:31.300]These projects helped fulfill the dream I had
[00:00:34.490]when I returned to the State Department in 2018
[00:00:37.700]after 15 years in academia at Texas Tech University.
[00:00:41.770]I spent almost my entire diplomatic career in Africa.
[00:00:45.810]And during my time in academia, I visited Africa frequently
[00:00:49.900]with groups of students, fellow academics
[00:00:52.990]to promote exchanges and introduce more Americans
[00:00:56.290]to the warmth and generosity
[00:00:58.760]that many people in countries in Africa have to offer.
[00:01:02.010]As my colleagues know, in addition to my love of diplomacy
[00:01:06.320]and working to enhance US relations with Africa,
[00:01:09.480]I have a particular passion for championing Africa's youth
[00:01:13.840]and building strong links
[00:01:15.770]between US and African institutions of higher education.
[00:01:19.820]I am a firm believer that African universities
[00:01:23.640]are important partners in national development.
[00:01:26.840]It is for this reason
[00:01:28.540]that when I returned to the State Department,
[00:01:30.750]I worked with my team to develop the UPI
[00:01:33.900]as a means of developing these critical academic ties.
[00:01:37.750]Congratulations to the Rwandan
[00:01:40.090]higher education administrators,
[00:01:42.380]who have been selected
[00:01:43.550]to represent the University of Rwanda
[00:01:46.240]and many other public and private colleges and universities
[00:01:49.790]in a first-of-its-kind fellowship program.
[00:01:52.910]The insights you glean
[00:01:54.750]through interactions with dynamic American mentors,
[00:01:58.110]and the best practices you develop through case studies
[00:02:01.340]and site visits in Rwanda and the United States
[00:02:04.840]will benefit your institutions, colleagues,
[00:02:07.940]students, and country.
[00:02:10.250]Our hope is that your experiences
[00:02:13.260]will encourage even more Rwandan universities
[00:02:16.610]to maximize the opportunities presented
[00:02:19.200]by international partnerships in higher education.
[00:02:22.890]This is not the first US-Rwandan partnership
[00:02:25.760]in education, of course.
[00:02:27.640]When I visited Kigali in 2019,
[00:02:30.440]it felt like home when I spoke
[00:02:32.590]at the Carnegie Mellon University Africa campus,
[00:02:35.730]to this day, the only US research university
[00:02:39.670]offering a full-time master's degree in Africa.
[00:02:42.990]During that visit, I learned a Rwandan proverb,
[00:02:47.017]"When people work together, God is on their side."
[00:02:51.280]Let us take this proverb to heart
[00:02:53.680]and continue to work together on partnerships in education
[00:02:57.570]to boost opportunity and prosperity on all sides
[00:03:01.740]and to create a brighter future for everyone.
[00:03:04.570]Once again, my congratulations
[00:03:07.420]to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
[00:03:09.910]and everyone involved in Rwanda for your tremendous work
[00:03:14.060]in putting together this wonderful initiative
[00:03:16.800]that will serve to strengthen the ties
[00:03:19.290]not only among educational institutions,
[00:03:21.970]but also between our countries and citizens.
[00:03:24.770]Thank you and God bless you.
[00:03:31.005]The US Embassy in Kigali
[00:03:32.750]is excited to be part of the Bureau of African Affairs'
[00:03:36.320]University Partnership Initiative.
[00:03:39.070]We are happy to support efforts to expand the connections
[00:03:42.030]between colleges and universities in the United States,
[00:03:45.730]in Rwanda, and all across the African continent.
[00:03:49.690]Our collaboration with the University of Nebraska
[00:03:52.510]will build on the strong
[00:03:54.010]and growing interest in international partnerships
[00:03:56.890]in higher education between Rwanda and the United States.
[00:04:01.410]The professional fellowship we have developed,
[00:04:03.590]we'll use virtual exchange, mentorship,
[00:04:06.960]and hands-on training in partnership management
[00:04:10.300]to empower mid-career higher education administrators
[00:04:14.120]here in Rwanda.
[00:04:15.900]We see this as an important investment in education
[00:04:19.110]helping to position American and Rwandan institutions
[00:04:22.770]to take full advantage of all of the opportunities
[00:04:25.870]that come with international partnerships
[00:04:28.270]in higher education.
[00:04:30.370]This project builds on the already strong relationship
[00:04:33.780]between Rwanda and the Great State of Nebraska.
[00:04:37.640]200 Rwandan students
[00:04:39.210]are currently earning world-class degrees
[00:04:42.180]in conservation agriculture in Lincoln.
[00:04:45.140]The University of Nebraska is also playing a leading role
[00:04:48.200]in establishing the Rwanda Institute
[00:04:50.530]for Conservation Agriculture as well.
[00:04:53.130]And last year, the Nebraska National Guard
[00:04:55.620]signed a state partnership agreement with Rwanda,
[00:04:58.520]which has already led to cooperation on emergency
[00:05:01.830]and disaster response,
[00:05:03.470]as well as peacekeeping operations and pandemic readiness.
[00:05:07.610]I'm proud to see the growing collaboration
[00:05:10.100]between Rwanda and Nebraska
[00:05:11.970]and the many connections between colleges
[00:05:14.300]and universities in Rwanda and the United States.
[00:05:18.310]Our University Partnership Initiative project,
[00:05:20.910]like all of these links,
[00:05:22.070]will be rewarding for the people of both countries.
[00:05:25.415](Peter speaking in Kinyarwanda)
[00:05:26.350]Thank you very much.
[00:05:31.130]The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is excited to partner
[00:05:34.350]with the US Department of State's Bureau of African Affairs
[00:05:38.170]and the US Embassy in Rwanda
[00:05:40.450]on the University Partnerships Initiative.
[00:05:43.320]We are honored that Nebraska was chosen
[00:05:45.650]as an inaugural awardee and partner in this initiative
[00:05:49.100]to strengthen ties between American universities
[00:05:51.920]and those in Sub-Saharan Africa
[00:05:54.100]through the creation
[00:05:54.990]of a new professional fellowship program.
[00:05:58.210]This program will provide Rwandan fellows
[00:06:00.600]the opportunity to engage with
[00:06:02.470]and learn from not only our experts at Nebraska,
[00:06:05.670]but also experts from across the Big Ten Academic Alliance
[00:06:09.130]and other land-grant institutions.
[00:06:11.450]Nebraska has over 150 years of experience
[00:06:15.000]in educating the next generation of scholars and leaders
[00:06:18.320]and in conducting groundbreaking research
[00:06:20.870]that impacts the lives of Nebraskans
[00:06:23.010]and people around the world.
[00:06:25.140]We also have a long history
[00:06:27.270]of building institutional capacity
[00:06:29.310]and collaborating on reciprocal programs
[00:06:31.610]with our international partners that leverage the expertise
[00:06:35.240]of our world-renowned faculty and staff.
[00:06:38.560]More than ever,
[00:06:39.750]we are committed to bringing Nebraska to the world
[00:06:42.600]and the world to Nebraska
[00:06:44.410]by broadening our engagement with our global partners,
[00:06:47.460]especially those in Africa.
[00:06:49.960]Especially over the past decade,
[00:06:52.050]UNL has demonstrated its commitment
[00:06:54.050]to building deep long-lasting relationships
[00:06:56.850]across the continent through reciprocal exchanges,
[00:06:59.950]grant programs, and partnerships with public
[00:07:02.460]and private organizations.
[00:07:04.600]For example, UNL has hosted
[00:07:06.810]three Civic Leadership Institutes
[00:07:08.600]for the Mandela Washington Fellowship
[00:07:10.490]for Young African Leaders,
[00:07:12.200]and looks forward to welcoming another cohort
[00:07:14.870]in summer 2021.
[00:07:17.370]We've also invested in Rwanda as a strategic partner
[00:07:20.800]and sort to build long-term partnerships there
[00:07:23.370]and to create opportunities for talented students.
[00:07:27.070]We have welcomed over 200 students from Rwanda
[00:07:30.270]on private scholarships
[00:07:31.550]to earn their bachelor's degree at UNL,
[00:07:34.070]studying integrated sciences,
[00:07:35.790]conservation agriculture, and entrepreneurship.
[00:07:39.190]These Rwandan scholars have become an integral part
[00:07:41.880]of our UNL community as student leaders,
[00:07:44.580]who have supported important research projects
[00:07:47.290]and shared their culture.
[00:07:49.560]It also has been UNL's pleasure to advise the leadership
[00:07:52.720]of Rwanda's Institute for Conservation Agriculture
[00:07:55.990]on building an innovative curriculum
[00:07:58.040]that prioritizes experiential education,
[00:08:01.170]and to watch some of our alumni
[00:08:03.280]join that university's faculty and staff.
[00:08:06.450]Through these partnerships
[00:08:07.970]and the University Partnerships Initiative,
[00:08:10.330]the University of Nebraska Lincoln is excited
[00:08:12.850]to expand our work with Rwandan institutions
[00:08:15.540]of higher education and the US Embassy in Rwanda.
[00:08:19.800]I look forward to seeing the growth
[00:08:21.480]this fellowship program will inspire among the participants,
[00:08:25.110]their institutions in Rwanda,
[00:08:27.290]and among our UNL community.
[00:08:31.953](lively music fades)
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