Ms. Fatou – Bin Ngu’m from the University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain (UPF) visited the University of Nairobi between 27th – 29th June 2022. She is the international partnerships and mobility administrator at the International Relations Service at UPF. The University of Pompeu Fabra is a partner University of Nairobi and her visit was part of enhancing the collaboration between the two Universities.
The University of Pompeu Fabra is ranked no 2 in Spain and is among the top 200 universities in the world and top 100 in Europe. They have a very strong internationalization program with 60% of their student population made of international students and 40% of local students. UPF has an active agreement with the University of Nairobi to send staff and PhD students to UPF for the exchange program. Currently, there are two students from the University of Nairobi who are studying at UPF.
Ms. Fatou was able to visit various campuses of the University and interact with the members of staff from the Faculties. During the meeting with the administrators from the advancement office and the Directorate of Corporate Affairs a number of issues were discussed namely; the role of administrators in promoting internationalization, enhancing student and staff exchange, carrying out joint research, and strengthening the relationship between UoN and UPF.
During the meeting, it was noted that administrators have a key role to play in the process of Internationalization. Mr. John Orindi, the Director, of Corporate Affairs pointed out that in most Universities it is the administrators who are the drivers of the internationalization process. It is important for administrators to travel and interact with their counterparts from other universities so that they get the required experience and also build networks.
In May 2022, the Director had a chance to visit UPF where he attended a training of international administrators in the International office. He encouraged other administrators to take advantage of such opportunities and visit other universities and get more exposure on how internationalization works.
Ms. Fatou indicated that UPF is keen on enhancing student exchange, especially for undergraduate programs. “One of the major reasons why I visited the University of Nairobi was to enhance the student exchange program and experience for undergraduate students,” said Ms. Fatou. She pointed out that previously the exchange program mainly focused on postgraduate students and in the next ERASMUS agreement they want to include undergraduate students.
Ms. Fatou also visited the Department of Computing and Informatics where she met with members of the department and they discussed how they can improve on the existing partnership. Dr. Lawrence Muchemi is member of staff in the Department of Computing and Informatics visited UPF as part of the collaboration agreement.