Webster University opens a new campus in Ghana
By Paul Ndiho
Ghana’s ministry of education and the U.S. Higher learning commission have officially accredited Webster University’s new campus in Accra, Ghana. Graduates from the new Accra campus will earn degrees recognized in both the U.S. and Ghana.
Following a rigorous review, the Accra satellite campus of Webster University based in St. Louis, Missouri, is now open for business. Student recruitment is ongoing and classes are set to start in January. The approval by the higher learning commission ensures that Webster university graduates in Ghana will hold American equivalent degrees that are recognized internationally. Hopefully, making it easier for graduates to seek employment and pursue studies in either country.
Webster university president, Elizabeth “Beth” Stroble, in an interview with Africa 54 says that opening the Ghanaian campus creates new opportunities for students, faculty, as well as businesses. Dr. Stroble says she is excited about this new initiative.
“Ghana is such a leader already in the world arena, and certainly in sub-Saharan Africa and the continent of Africa. And if we wish for students to know the world, it’s important to know Ghana because of its political leadership, its economic leadership, the leadership that Ghana is positioned to provide for a better world.
Webster has selected programs for the Accra campus based on student interest and employers in the region. University provost and chief operating officer Dr. Julian Schuster says the university will offer both undergraduate and graduate programs.
“The degrees that we are offering actually are meeting the demand it takes to exist in a rapidly growing Ghanaian economy and Ghanaian society. So as the second fastest growing economy in Africa, there is a definite demand for the business degree but also as one of the leading democracy’s in Africa and i would say the world there is also a demand for the degree’s both in undergraduate and graduate level in the area of international relations as well as in the area of communication at Webster university is poised to meet that demand.”
Webster University was founded in 1915 and it has been an accredited institution of higher learning since 1925.
In addition to its Ghana and North American locations, Webster University also has traditional residential campuses in Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Kingdom. It also has a global network of international partners in more than two dozen other locations. The Accra interim president, Dr. Tom Oates, says the choice to have a new campus in Ghana was not an accident, but it was done after an extensive study of sites in Africa.
“Webster decided it was a good site and i made several visits here to confirm my own commitment to the project in Ghana and I found it fascinating place, full of energy, full of commitment to the development of all its peoples, which is important to the university but also important to me. And so, we decided to start a college here.”
Victoria Dela Adeborna graduated from Webster’s, main campus in St. Louis and over the years she has risen through the ranks to become key part of the faculty staff.
“I started as a student assistant in the library, I was a student, and Webster was coming to Ghana, then I joined the Ghana campus, so I moved from St. Louis with Dr. Oz to Ghana and it’s been a lot of learning, a lot of personal growth, and one thing to re-enforce the personal growth is, I went through the accreditation stage, which you know is a huge project so that alone has taught me a lot.”
The Accra campus also will provide more opportunities for current students from any of Webster’s worldwide campuses to study abroad. Nearly one-third of Webster’s currents students and faculty take advantage of the university’s global presence and study or teach in another country. With the new Ghana campus opening up a fourth continent for the Webster community, it is anticipated that students and faculty from other campuses will visit Ghana, while students in Ghana likely will study for a semester or two in Asia, North America or Europe.