KIGALI, Nov. 23, 2020 — The U.S. Embassy in Kigali and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln launched today the University Partnerships and Exchange (UPEX) Rwanda Program, an innovative fellowship that will provide mid-career administrators at Rwandan colleges and universities with a year of enrichment and practical training on university advancement and international partnerships.
“We are proud to support efforts to expand the connections between colleges and universities in Rwanda and the United States,” said U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Peter H. Vrooman. “We see this as an important investment in education, helping to position American and Rwandan institutions to take full advantage of all of the opportunities that come with international partnerships in higher education.”
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs will fund the $250,000 project through the University Partnerships Initiative, created in 2019 to strengthen collaboration in higher education between Africa and the United States. The initiative supports higher education links that expose African students, faculty and administrators to the diversity and innovation on American campuses.
“The University of Nebraska is thrilled to partner with the U.S. Embassy in Kigali and Rwandan universities on this exciting initiative,” said Josh Davis, associate vice chancellor for global affairs. “The UPEX-Rwanda program is particularly innovative as we leverage our strengths in virtual exchange to engage with new institutional partners and help develop their international partnership capacity.”
The program builds on the University of Nebraska’s successful partnerships in Rwanda and across Africa in recent years, including hosting multiple leadership institutes for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders; more than 200 full scholarships for Rwandan students through the CASNR Undergraduate Scholarship Program; and advising on recruitment and curriculum design for the new Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture.
Nebraska’s Office of Global Strategies will lead the UPEX-Rwanda fellows through a year-long virtual training program beginning in January. Each month, the cohort will participate in workshops led by content experts in international partnership management from across the United States and Rwanda, apply best practices in case studies and site visits, and meet virtually with a U.S.-based mentor. Key concepts covered in the program include the internationalization of higher education, strategic partnership management, grant writing and project implementation. At the conclusion of the program, the cohort will also present an international partnership proposal and organize a symposium on university partnerships.
Program details and application requirements can be found on the University Partnerships and Exchange Rwanda Program website: go.unl.edu/upex. Applications for the 2021 cohort will close at 11:59 p.m. Central African Time on Friday, December 11, 2020.