By Mohamed Lamin Massaquoi,Information Attachè, United Arab Emirates

Sierra Leone Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Rashid Sesay, has called on the Leadership of the American University in Ras Al Khaimah, AURAK, to discuss the potential for skills transfer and exchange programmes for Higher Institutions of Learning in Sierra Leone.

Located in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven Emirates of the UAE, the AURAK already has two Sierra Leoneans pursing Petroleum Engineering and Biotechnology. It is a public non-profit, independent, coeducation institution of higher education which delivers an integrated American-style, undergraduate and graduate education with a strong focus on the local indigenous culture.

In his statement, Ambassador Sesay said that he was meeting the University leadership to discuss ways of fostering relationship between the AURAK and higher institutions of learning in Sierra Leone adding that he was committed to further engagements in having more Sierra Leoneans studying in the AURAK.

He said that the priority of President Julius Maada Bio was on human capital development of which science and technology was a big component and noted he was pleased that the University was doing very well in that area. The Sierra Leone Envoy also spoke of the need to collaborate with Sierra Leonean Universities in the area of curriculum review saying that that would help shape courses to meet new demands in a competitive global market.

President of the AURAK, Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, said that they would be happy to collaborate with Sierra Leone because of their shared vision that education was a reliable tool for sustainable development.

He mentioned that over the years, they had been able to develop new faculties with an institutional quality drawn from over thirty countries.

Vice President of AURAK, Professor Stephen Wilhite, said that they were interested and committed to having more students from Sierra Leone.

He added that they were also open to exchange programme arrangements as part of fostering relations.