GUWAHATI, June 18: The University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) has taken a significant step towards fostering international understanding and promoting educational and intercultural activities by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Higher Education Gabon. The agreement, signed by Dr Patrick Mouguiama Daouda, minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research, Gabon, and Prof GD Sharma, vice chancellor of USTM and president of the Association of Indian Universities, aims to facilitate student exchange and collaborative research endeavours.
As part of this collaboration, Dr Patrick Mouguiama-Daouda, the Gabonese minister of Higher Education, along with Josephine Patricia NTYAM-EHYA, first counsellor of the Embassy of Gabon in India, and other delegates from Gabon, visited USTM. They engaged in an interactive session with students and faculty members of the university, where USTM students presented a captivating cultural showcase representing the eight north-eastern states of India.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Patrick Mouguiama-Daouda expressed his enthusiasm for inter-university projects and highlighted the importance of mobility for teachers, researchers, and students in higher education. He highlighted that the collaboration would serve as a platform for partnership, particularly between USTM and other universities in Gabon. He mentioned that students could pursue digital courses for the first three years and then travel to India for further studies, while Indian students could also travel to Gabon. Dr Patrick Mouguiama-Daouda assured that Gabon is fully capable of supporting students who come to the country for higher education, as they have a strong policy of social assistance that covers meals and accommodations. He also expressed appreciation for USTM’s green campus and thanked everyone for their participation.
Chancellor Mahbubul Hoque expressed USTM’s commitment to collaborating with other countries for student, faculty, and staff exchanges, as well as collaborative research. He envisioned USTM becoming globally recognised by 2030, positioning itself as a preferred destination for international students. Vice chancellor Prof GD Sharma highlighted USTM’s achievements, including its ‘A’ Grade accreditation by NAAC and NIRF Ranking among the top 200 universities in India. He mentioned that USTM is continuously enhancing its facilities and infrastructure to cater to the needs of international students.
The MoU between USTM and the Gabonese Ministry of Higher Education encompasses various projects, with a particular focus on educational experiences involving student and staff exchanges. Under the agreement, both institutions will accept full-time students from each other on a one-for-one basis for undergraduate or post-graduate study during the academic year, including the possibility of summer school sessions.
Additionally, the collaboration entails faculty exchanges for research activities, organisation of conferences, seminars, and lecture series, as well as the development of initiatives in business, industry, and education within the local community. The MoU is valid for five academic years, with each academic year consisting of the Fall (Odd) and Spring (Even) semesters.