In July, Dean William Fitzgibbon visited the International University of Grand Bassam (IUGB) in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire. The goals of the visit were to sign the Memorandum of Understanding between the College of Technology and the IUGB. The visit and the signing of the MOU were nationally publicized and meetings were held with high ranking government and university officials. Dean Fitzgibbon said of the significance of the MOU, "Collaboration between the COT and IUGB will allow the UH to have a presence in West Africa and will greatly facilitate our drawing students and it could provide a platform for offering training, degree, and certificate programs".
The IUGB is a privately governed institution, organized under the laws of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire as a non-profit organization. Operating as an autonomous institution, its non-profit status makes the University eligible for public grants and other funding from the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, other countries, international organizations and the private sector. The IUGB curriculum is offered in English.
The International University of Grand Bassam is certified by the government to offer all levels of degrees from the baccalaureate through the doctorate. Currently, however, none of these degrees is offered. The University is subdivided into three academic divisions: the College of Business, International Relations and Economic Policy (BIREP), the College of Arts and Science and Technology (ASTECH), and the Pre-Undergraduate Program. At present, the two Colleges (BIREP and ASTECH) function in a role similar to US community colleges, providing the first two years of undergraduate education with a view toward sending students abroad for a baccalaureate degree. The Pre-Undergraduate Program is an outreach program that informs and prepares students (and their families) for post-secondary education.
During his visit, Dean Fitzgibbon met with government ministers and their senior staff members including; the Honorable Daniel Kablan Duncan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honorable Ibrahima Cisse, Minister of Higher Education and Research, the Honorable Charles Koffi Diby, Minister of the Economy and Finance, and the Honorable, Bernard Douabina, Gninia, Prefect (Governor) Department of Grand Bassam.
In addition, Dean Fitzgibbon met with individuals from the International University of the Grand Bassam; Professor Saliou Toure- President of the IUGB, Madam Simone Tchinah- Secretary of the Board of IUGB, Sam Koffi- Georgia State University and IUGB, Dr. Marcel Silue, Dean College of Arts and Science and Technology, and Dr. Koffi D’Na, Dean of Business International Relations, and Economic Policy. President Toure and Board Chair Kouame are planning a follow up visit to Houston at the end of August.