We Are All Webster: Building community from many identities, owning our biases, infusing diversity with inclusion | Webster University

Africa Open for Business

 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
United Nations, Conference Room 1

PANEL: LOCAL GOVERNANCE, EDUCATION, SPORT AND CULTURE ROUNDTABLE

I want to thank Dr. Djibril Diallo for the invitation to participate in this important dialogue about needed investments to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.  I have found the presentations tonight meaningful and informative. This summit fuels my commitment to continue to live Webster University’s vision and mission.  As background and context, I will share a few facts about Webster University.

Our university was founded by women for women in 1915, at a time when women could not easily receive bachelor’s degrees in the St. Louis region.  As a result, Webster has always prized women’s leadership.

Over the years, Webster has evolved to meet students’ needs.  Now we admit both men and women students and serve almost 14,000 students worldwide on campuses across the U. S. and in Europe, Asia, and Africa.  Our mission is to ensure high quality learning experiences that transform students for individual excellence and global citizenship.

Throughout our history, Webster colleagues have been motivated to meet unmet needs.  That is why we established a campus in Accra, Ghana, in 2014.  We have made an investment to meet a local need, to provide high quality education for students in the region without the need for them to leave the continent, perhaps never to return.

 How do we live out our mission at Webster Ghana?

We know that Ghana has experienced tremendous success in growing participation in secondary schools[1]. The challenge that creates is a demand for higher education beyond the current capacity of public universities.

Everywhere, and particularly in Africa, there is a need for greater access, relevance, and innovation in higher education to meet students’ needs.  Currently, private higher education in Ghana enjoys a 30% market share, which is growing as part of the solution to the region’s needs.  It is interesting to note that in Sub Saharan Africa, higher education enrollment has grown from 2.7 million in 2000 to 7.8 million in 2017 [2].

What sets Webster Ghana apart is the provision of both undergraduate and graduate programs, taught in English.  Graduates from Webster Ghana receive U. S. accredited degrees that have also been accredited by Ghanaian authorities.  Our focus is on equipping the region’s students for employment and helping the region participate in global knowledge development.

The campus is a convener and partner with industry and government to host forums on topics of national and international importance, particularly those of the 2030 SDGs and the African Agenda 2063.  And we are delighted to serve as a host for study abroad students from around the world.

Webster provides a number of resources for students and their families.  We fund scholarships, as do our corporate partners and donors.  We know our students need more.

We can grow our capacity to expand high quality programs in this great location with more partners who help students find internships and employment.  It has been my desire to open the world to Webster students and to open Webster students to the world.  Together we assure a sustainable future for all.

And now, I look forward to hearing the voice of the youth on our panel, an important voice for us to hear.

Thank you.


[1] Caerus Capital. (2017). The Business of Higher Education in Africa. Washington DC: Caerus Capital. Pg. 15.

 

[2]

Caerus Capital. (2017). The Business of Higher Education in Africa. Washington DC: Caerus Capital. Pg. 24.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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