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Friday, April 23, 2021

Mali’s most-diverse university loses few of its pioneer men

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Bamako, Mali — There is no marker beside the university gates at Dalhousie University that says open enrollment. Yet in this green, dusty north African town, college has been in operation for 53 years.

As Africa’s most-diverse university, it has lost few of its pioneer Aboubakar Muta’j, who started off as a chemistry professor in 1958 and founded its only campus abroad in 1960. In addition to giving birth to its highest-profile studies in economics, politics and technology, the school has integrated into local culture. The staff speaks English, French and Arabic, but Ladjou­ta Lalayelou — the school’s current vice-principal — spoke Yoruba, Nigeria’s indigenous language, when she was a student.

Now, she helps provide some of the university’s most valuable and unique learning opportunities in what she describes as a “sweeping expansion” of its relationship with India. Its global network — including campuses in New Delhi, Mumbai and the north Indian city of Ahmedabad — helps students of Malian descent learn more about the lessons about resilience and resilience offered by Indian culture. The new program offers French immersion, informal internships, exchange programs, online and short-term studies of French in India, and more. “Where else can we do this?” Ms. Lalayelou said.

Click here to read the full story.

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