A junior research from Tilburg University in the Netherlands is visiting with the University of Liberia in furtherance of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two institutions four years ago. She made the disclosure over the weekend when she spoke in an exclusive interview with UL Relations staff on the Capitol Hill campus of the university.

Ms. Marola Vaes said she made the trip ahead of her bosses who were unable at the time of her departure, noting that her visit was to renew Tilburg’s commitment to the relationship between the two institutions.

“My visit is a signal to looking forward to renewing commitment between the UL and Tilburg University because the last memorandum of understanding (MOU) which is the second in a role ended last year,” she said. “So this visit is beneficiary in creating a new perspective on needs of both sides which sets the pace of a new, third MOU.”

Ms. Vaes said Tilburg University is known worldwide for its law faculty development and perhaps that is why her institution has a long standing relationship with the UL law school. She however indicated that “Because the UL authority in separate discussions continues to express the need for expansion especially in the undergraduate level specifically in the English, history and other Liberal arts programs, is a request I am going to relay to my bosses to consider.  Those expansion prospects and investments would be extended to building the UL faculty profile even at the level of the UL graduate programs.

Ms. Vaes expressed gratitude to the UL Administration for the collaboration subsisting between the two institutions, stating, “Separate discussions I have had with colleagues at the University of Liberia have been very helpful and they have given a lot of inputs on how to boost the relationship between our universities and I am very happy about this collaboration. As a matter of fact,  this is the first African university I have directly been in contact with, is pleased to say I am very impressed with the level of professionalism and innovation I have benefited from the University of Liberia since my arrival,” she commended.

“Is always good to be connected with other people and other institutions, this symbolizes the importance of the connection between our universities, I hope we will always stay in touch and I will do my best to relay all the messages back home to my country for consideration,” Ms. Vaes assured.

In 2012, Tilburg University and the University of Liberia entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to foster collaboration between the two institutions. The MOU is built on separate pillars, including the production and exchange of knowledge and research.

Meanwhile, Ms. Vaes, who has just completed her master’s degree in Psychology, also donated a number of text books to the College of Humanities. She noted that even though some of the text books are not very recent, the contents are very useful for Liberal Arts students particularly.

“I am here this week to further the relationship between Tilburg University and the University of Liberia but also want to contribute in a more personal way. When I heard VP Geegbae talked about the need for more Liberal Arts courses, I was really happy that I brought these study books with me cause he specifically mentioned the need for more development in the social sciences,” Ms. Vaes said.

Ms. Vaes added she has a personal connection with the books she was donating to the UL, saying, “The personal connection with the books is that I used these books to study in my own bachelor degree in psychology.  I am hoping to share the knowledge in psychology with Liberian students as my personal contribution to the development of Liberia’s human resource development.”

Receiving the text books on behalf of the UL administration, the Vice President for University Relations at the University of Liberia, Atty. Norris Tweah thanked Ms. Marola Vaes for the donation, describing it as timely.   “On behalf of the faculty, staff and students particularly who are most definitely the beneficiaries of this donation want to just thank you for this kind gesture,” VP Tweah.

“Our students do have a need for books as well as the University and psychology is one branch of science that is in great demand in this country given what we have gone through as a nation, so is just a timely donation, VP Tweah emphasized.

VP Tweah assured Ms. Vaes that the books will be used appropriately, stressing, “We will use these books appropriately, they are not going to collect dust from the shelves I can assure you.”