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A Group Picture with the Team from MUN
A Group Picture with the Team from MUN

A delegation from the University of Newfoundland (MUN) in Canada has paid a working visit to the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa. Prof Steve Butt, a Professor of Petroleum, Mining, Drilling, and Geomechanics led the delegation and was accompanied by Dr Adedoyin Odukoya, the Grant Facilitation Officer of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

After a short documentary on UMaT was played to the delegation, the Vice Chancellor, Prof J. S. Y. Kuma expressed the gratitude of the University to them for their determination to visit UMaT although the first attempt could not be possible due to flight cancellations. He thanked them for their perseverance to come and see what UMaT was doing.

According to Prof Butt, their visit was to establish a relationship with UMaT with the aim of providing a mutually beneficial framework that UMaT and MUN could work within to achieve shared goals. He gave a presentation on the core functions of MUN and indicated that MUN was a world leader in most engineering programmes such as mining, (especially open pit), drilling technology, cold ocean research, teaching and learning and public engagement. He added that their area of expertise was in Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources. He further indicated that MUN was ready to collaborate with UMaT in those areas. He again said that MUN as a University was able to attract external support for research up to the tune of 100 million Canadian Dollars annually. He expressed the hope that the collaboration would allow the two institutions to jointly supervise postgraduate students. He added that there were scholarship opportunities available for graduate students which UMaT students could take advantage of. He said there were scholarships of up to $15,000 for MSc and $18,000 for PhD candidates per year.

Prof Kuma informed them that a School of Petroleum Studies was being developed into a Centre of Excellence where courses such as subsea engineering would be taught. He indicated that one of the benefits of the collaboration would be to develop a model where Guest Lecturers from MUN could come to UMaT to deliver short term courses. This according to Prof Kuma, would be a true symbiotic relationship for the two institutions. Prof Kuma also informed the distinguished visitors that the University had procured Environmental Monitoring Laboratory equipment through a DANIDA mixed credit facility for the University which according to him, will change the face of scientific research in the University when the equipment are finally installed.

At the end of the discussions the meeting agreed on some common grounds for mutual benefit which would feature in a Memorandum of Understanding that would be signed soon. The common issues agreed include student mobility that will allow brilliant students of UMaT to be sent to MUN for Staff Development, UMaT Staff who are pursuing their PhDs locally to be offered six months opportunity to do some research in MUN, to organise short courses that would benefit UMaT Lecturers, research collaboration, to design courses in subsea engineering, robotics and drilling technology.

Also present at the meeting were Mr A. K. Doku, the Registrar of UMaT, Assoc Prof S. Al-Hassan, the Dean of Planning and Quality Assurance Unit, Assoc Prof S. Ndur, the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Mineral Resources Technology, Assoc Prof Anthony Simons, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Assoc Prof J. R. Dankwa, the Head of the Department of Minerals Engineering, Dr S. Mantey, the Head of the Department of Petroleum Engineering and Mr Paul Yeboah, the University Relations Officer.

Source: Paul Y. A. Yeboah, Assistant Registrar and Head, University Relations Office