Can Mekelle University become a Fifth Campus of Thomas More Kempen? Moonshot Ethiopia!
Numerous partnerships with universities all over the world demonstrate Thomas More Kempen’s focus on internationalization. Our partnership with the Mekelle University from the Northern Tigray area in Ethiopia is a perfect example. It started more than 8 years ago with the departments of Agriculture and Nursing and Midwifery and was soon broadened with Teacher Education and Technology.
Inspired by Moonshot Thinking we want to take our partnership with this university to the next level. Aiming for the moon, we want to be equally ambitious in our partnership and go beyond the regular internships, staff exchange and, often temporary, projects. We want to ensure structural cooperation, in the long term, across the various units and campuses of both universities.
Inspired by the Ambition of Ethiopian Leaders
Thanks to Global Minds we have had the chance to organise two inspiring exchanges with visitors from the Mekelle University in November and December 2018. During these it became clear that besides a similar organisational and operational structure, we also share the same ambition. It was in Tigray that famine raged in the 1980s. It has also been the scene of several wars. Today there is peace. Various drylands agricultural projects – often in collaboration with the university – made sure that water is stored and the region became habitable again.
Ethiopian leaders today are highly motivated to make a difference. There is a great sense of urgency focused on the difference education can make in the lives of the ever growing young population of Ethiopia. Therefore they aim to make their university and hospital leading in Africa. They have invested heavily in education of the staff, infrastructure and technology, but also in community work and volunteering, together with their students. Today Mekelle University is looking for a partner to offer their ambitious students practical and international experience. We feel addressed.
Wicked Challenges for Ambitious Students
This was an inspiration for us, and for our students. Two of them joined us on our mission to Mekelle. One of the ways in which we intend to implement the partnership starting next year and onwards is by letting ambitious students from both universities tackle wicked and global challenges together. The Sustainable Development Goals will inevitably unite them to be inspired to work on projects and develop their innovative and entrepreneurial skills together.
To be continued.