Tisha Arnold | Public Information
PINE BLUFF, Ark-
Representatives from the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL) visited the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) to learn more about the institution as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Initiated by Dr. James Garner, Interim Dean of the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences and Dr. Dennis Balogu, Professor of Agricultural sciences, IBBUL will work with UAPB and its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academy to nurture its programs, supply capacity development and implement new strategies.
“This is an excellent opportunity for our university to grow and develop more opportunities for our faculty and students,” said Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr., UAPB’s Chancellor.
Chancellor Davis, Dr. Mary Benjamin, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dr. Shadrach Okiror, professor in the Department of Agriculture at UAPB met with Professor Ibrahim Adamu Kolo, executive vice chancellor of IBBUL; Engineer Shuaibu Gani, member of the IBBUL Governing Council; Dr. Baba Alfa, deputy vice chancellor and Adamu Kabiru Mohammed, lecturer III, Department of Biological Sciences at IBBUL.
Topics covering every aspect were discussed including UAPB’s history, research, collaborations and specifically, the UAPB STEM Academy. The Academy is a federally funded program designed to increase the number of minorities and women choosing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers. The program has a retention rate of 80% and offers students international internship opportunities, support for students seeking degrees in STEM areas and partnerships with numerous other institutions.
“The partnership between this University and Nigeria is an opportunity to share the rich experience that we’ve had at [UAPB] and to help other universities in countries that might still be experiencing some of the challenges that we have already,” said Dr. Benjamin. “[We want to] share some of the approaches we have used on our campus not only to advance education and award degrees, but to be sure that the programs we offer are attentive to the needs of society. We are excited about the possibility of going international in our partnerships.”
“I congratulate the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for the past few years,” said Kolo. “They have changed the face of the infrastructure of this institution.” Professor Kolo stated that infrastructural improvements pose a challenge for universities in developing countries. Part of his drive and vision is to improve infrastructure at IBBUL and have value driven academic programs. The areas that Kolo plans to develop include biotechnology, food science and STEM areas. “These areas are driven by societal challenges,” said Kolo.
Founded in 2006, IBBUL was established by the Niger State University Law of 2005 and commenced academic activities during the 2005/2006 academic session. With an enrollment of about 3,000 students, they offer degrees in applied and natural sciences, agriculture, education and art, management and social sciences.