IIE Delegation Explores Academic Partnerships with Sudanese Educational Institutions

KHARTOUM, November 1, 2017—On October 22-26, an IIE delegation went to Sudan to explore the potential for partnerships between U.S. and Sudanese higher education institutions at a critical point in the bilateral relationship when Sudan is opening up due to the recent lifting of longstanding sanctions. Shannon Bruder, Head of Business Development, Susan Silveus, Head of Middle East and Africa, and Dr. Susan Buck Sutton, an expert consultant on international academic partnerships, traveled to Sudan at the invitation of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and with support from the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum.

IIE Delegation with Minister Dr. Sumaya Abu Kashwa and additional representatives from the Sundanese Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research

At the outset of the visit, they met with Minister Dr. Sumaya Abu Kashwa and participated in a forum with Sudanese higher education stakeholders, during which they learned about the Sudanese higher education system and presented on IIE and the U.S. perspective on academic partnerships. They had the opportunity to visit nine universities, including public and private institutions within and outside of Khartoum. The quality of the universities was uniformly high, and these institutions expressed a desire to partner with U.S. universities on activities such as student and faculty exchanges, joint research and publication, training and capacity building, and online learning. The IIE team found great potential for partnerships in diverse disciplines such as agriculture and livestock, archaeology, tropical diseases, education, peace studies, renewable energy, and water management.

IIE Delegation at the historic library at the Univeristy of Khartoum

The visit included discussions led by the Ministry’s Undersecretary, Dr. Azhari Omar Abdul Baki Mohammed, during which the team learned about the Ministry’s strategy and work in different areas. The experience culminated in a press conference attended by both the Undersecretary and Steven Koutsis, Charge d’Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum. The Ministry and IIE agreed that IIE will collaborate with the Ministry to promote partnerships between U.S. and Sudanese institutions. The first step in this collaboration will be a joint forum, tentatively scheduled for spring 2018, which will bring together representatives of interested U.S. and Sudanese universities to forge new partnerships or renew partnerships that existed prior to the sanctions.