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McRobbie partners with South Africa



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IU President Michael A. McRobbie, right, and University of the Western Cape Deputy Vice Chancellor Ramesh Bharuthram discuss possible collaborations between their universities. Courtesy Photo / Courtesy of IU Goes to Africa blog Buy Photos



The delegation also announced the launch of IU’s first alumni chapter in South Africa, the third in Africa.

IU previously established alumni chapters in Ghana and Kenya and offers international chapters in about 40 different countries worldwide, according to the IU Alumni Association website.
 
Like other alumni chapters, the formation of the South African network was initiated by alumni in the region, said Mark Land, associate vice president of IU
Communications. 

“The scale is obviously different,” Land said. “We only have about 150 to 170 alumni from South Africa.”

Land said IU’s increased visibility in the region should help the University form new relationships and reach out to alumni in the area.

“They serve to bring the IU family together, to encourage people to spread word about the University,” he said.

During the first week of the trip, which began Aug. 25, McRobbie and Kelley School of Business Dean Idalene Kesner signed an agreement between the Kelley School and the Gordon Institute of Business Science in South Africa.
 
“The goal is to look for opportunities to exchange expertise — for our faculty to get a chance to work with their faculty,” Land said.

Officials also hope the partnership will encourage IU students to study abroad in South Africa and will boost IU international student enrollment from South Africa.

“We haven’t had many students from there,” Land said. “The added diversity on campus makes it a more interesting and vibrant place for students.”

McRobbie also met with officials at GIBS’ parent university, the University of Pretoria, and administrators from the University of the Western Cape and the University of Cape Town.

He discussed future collaboration of academic programs with South African Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande.

IU has had a presence in South Africa since the days of apartheid, according to a press release. In 1986, the University was involved in establishing Khanya College, a program that assisted disadvantaged black students in seeking an education at South Africa’s best universities.

A few years later, IU initiatied a legislative drafting program with the University of Pretoria.

In addition to the stop in South Africa, McRobbie became the first IU president to visit IU’s Academic Model for Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS (AMPATH) program in Eldoret, Kenya, Sept. 3.

The program has been nominated multiple times for the Nobel Peace Prize and serves a population of 3.5 million people throughout western Kenya, according to the release.
The presidential tour of Africa will wrap up at the end of this week with a stop at IU’s first-ever study abroad program at the University of Ghana.

McRobbie said in the release he was pleased with the results achieved during the first full week in Africa.

“The relationships we have formed this past week will ensure that Indiana University continues its longstanding tradition of institution-building and educational development in this important economic region of the world,” McRobbie said.

Follow campus editor Samantha Schmidt on Twitter @schmidtsam7.

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