Indian Ambassador to Liberia, H.E. Pradip Kumar Yadav has assured Authorities of the University of Liberia (UL) of a stronger collaboration with India and Indian universities aimed at helping to offer quality and affordable education for Liberian students.

Accompanied on a visit to UL’s Capitol Hill Campus on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 by Mr. Jitendra S. Rawat, Second Secretary, Embassy of India to Liberia, Amb, Yadav said the Indian Embassy will be very happy to work in very close coordination with UL on development in areas of interest across various disciplines. 

The Indian envoy said the embassy will help establish contacts between UL and the representatives of two Indian universities who were recently in Monrovia.

Amb. Yadav said the Embassy team had proposed to the visiting Indian universities’ representatives, depending on mutual consent, if they would like to enter a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Liberia for the education of Liberian students in their institutions. He said that exchange of faculty and other programs were also proposed to the visiting Indian universities’ delegation. Amb. Yadav told UL administrators during the meeting that India offers quality and affordable education, and that international students, especially from Africa who pursue higher education, see India as a proper destination. He requested University of Liberia President Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, Jr., and his team to share their view with the Indian Embassy, knowing that UL may already have such a Memorandum of Understanding with some other countries or universities.

Welcoming the Ambassador, UL President, Prof. Dr.  Julius Sawolo Nelson, Jr., thanked the delegation for visiting the University of Liberia. He said the UL family appreciates the relationship between Liberia and India, saying he is happy that India now has a full-fledged Embassy in Liberia.

Dr. Nelson told Amb. Yadav that the University of Liberia looks forward to the days where Indian professors who are on sabbatical would come and provide help at the university in various disciplines.

Prof. Dr. Moses Zinnah, Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Liberia, said India is a destination for a lot of things including education. He said the University of Liberia and Ravenshaw University in India signed an MoU last year that is now becoming active.

“They have agreed to work with us to train about 20 scientists in various fields – Chemistry, Biology, Physics…,” said Dr. Zinnah.

Prof. Zinnah concluded that UL will look forward to strengthening its relationship with India in the area of education across various disciplines.

Prof. Dr. Jonathan Taylor, Vice President for Graduate Studies, University of Liberia, said during the meeting that he wants UL to develop a tangible partnership with India in terms of capacity building, particularly on its plan of offering Doctoral programs in International Relations and in the field of Education.

Associate Prof. Weade Kobbah – Boley, Vice President for Institutional Development and Planning, University of Liberia, who recently returned from Delhi, India, said she can confirm what Amb. Yadav said about affordable education in India. “…And I found India to be an exciting place, but more importantly we are very impressed by the level of the education because I had to interact with a number of professors outside the medical arena,” said Prof. Kobbah – Boley.

She told Amb. Yadav that the medical area is where UL really needs some attention, making specific reference to the need for some specializations aimed at addressing Liberia’s needs.

Earlier, Madam Benetta Joko Tarr, Vice President for Administration, University of Liberia, briefed Amb. Yadav about the status of UL, the programs it offers and the facilities on four of its campuses on Capitol Hill, Congo Town , Fendall, Montserrado County and Sinje, Grand Cape Mount County, among others.

With President Nelson’s permission, Madam Tarr has offered to take the Indian delegation around to see the four campuses. With a student population of some 20,000 along with staff and faculty, Madam Tarr said the university is managing to host all of these people.

She said since the foundation of the institution as Liberia College, and then later transitioned to the University of Liberia, there has been no major renovation work on its facilities.

She said buildings on the university’s campuses, especially in Fendall, got scrapped from the roof to the wires by people who took refuge there during Liberia’s civil war. Madam Tarr further informed Amb. Yadav that the Liberian Government has been most generous to work closely with the UL Administration, saying it gave some money for the ongoing renovation exercise.

Cllr. Norris L. Tweah, Vice President for University Relations, said India’s education system is very competitive, and Liberia is very proud of the success story and wants to be a part of it.

Vice President Tweah said India is so advanced in terms of Technology and Education that its technology institute is on par with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Through this relationship, Vice President Tweah indicated, the University of Liberia wants India to strengthen its Information Communication Technology (ICT) program so that it benefits a vast majority of Liberians who do not have the financial capacity to pursue advanced education in developed countries.