US-AFRICA: Utah colleges help Mali university

Talatou Abdoulaye came to Utah for an advanced college degree but had no idea the classes would be so different from the ones offered in his home country of Mali, writes Wendy Leonard for Deseret News. The one and only university in the West African country serves 70,000 students with little more than 700 faculty members and does very little to encourage creativity, Abdoulaye said last week during a ceremony commemorating a new partnership involving four Utah colleges and universities and the University of Bamako in Mali.

"It is totally different here," the 39-year-old University of Utah doctoral student said. "In short, I would say that what I've liked most are the freedom to research and tackle whatever project you want and the opportunities in terms of the choice of majors here. These are very important to foster learning and development at the college level."

Abdoulaye said he hopes to take his new knowledge back to his country to help develop higher education there. He is also hoping to focus on redefining curriculum for grade-level schools in Mali. "For higher education to be sustainable, we need to have consistency at the lower levels," he said.
Full report on the Deseret News site