Addis Ababa, October 31, 2023 – As Ethiopia strives to improve the quality of the nation’s higher education system, 25 public university presidents and vice presidents visited three U.S. public universities October 14-25 to observe how U.S. universities were tackling similar challenges on their own campuses. Their study tour followed an August 2023 workshop on educational leadership in Addis Ababa as part of the U.S. Embassy-sponsored Leadership, Management, and Government (LMG) program. The two-year program, designed to advance the shared U.S.-Ethiopian goal of improving the quality of higher education in Ethiopia, is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
United States Ambassador Ervin Massinga and Minister of Education Birhanu Nega met with the university leaders Oct. 27 at Addis Ababa University’s Kennedy Library to hear their observations and lessons learned from their U.S. government-funded study tour of Texas Tech University, Oklahoma State University, and The Ohio State University. Kidist Yohannes, Vice President of Kotebe University of Education, echoing other participants, noted that the university visits provided many valuable lessons she will take back to her own campus to create better learning environments for the faculty, students, and community.
Ambassador Massinga congratulated the university leaders and encouraged them to implement the best practices they observed at their own universities, saying, “The power and importance of U.S. land grant universities and other institutions in furthering people-to-people exchange, business exchange, and institutional exchange cannot be overstated. That was true in the 50s and 60s, its true today, and will be true in the future. We want you, your institutions, and your students to be part of that engagement.”
The Ambassador assured the university leaders that the U.S. government and U.S. universities are enduring allies of Ethiopian higher education system with a history of strong partnerships dating back to the 1950’s. He said that the U.S. government will continue to seek ways to support the Ethiopia’s public universities as they transition to an autonomous governance structure.
The Minister of Education said, “The reason why we supported this is kind of trip is precisely because it gives you a sense of what it means to be an autonomous university as well as to take initiatives to prepare your universities for this reform.”
This delegation is the second cohort of university leaders to join the Leadership, Management, and Governance program, following 25 university and Ministry of Education officials who travelled to the United States in 2022.