WRITER: JUSTIN THILTGEN
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Sept. 13, 2002
24 African university officials visit UI as part of WiderNet Project
The University of Iowa's WiderNet Project will host two dozen high-level
Nigerian university administrators Sept. 20 to Oct. 4 for a workshop focusing
on computers and networks in higher education. The two-week session is designed
to introduce decision makers to a wide variety of issues they face as they
digitize their campuses and to provide technical, financial, and organizational
"The goal of this workshop is to provide our visitors hands-on and
practical exposure to IT on campus," said Cliff Missen, co-director of
the WiderNet Project. "Many of our guests are installing their institution's
first ICT infrastructure, and we aim to assist these partners in gaining the
expertise to be second-time buyers the first time around."
Dozens of UI experts and professionals will host discussions, seminars,
and hands-on demonstrations of the campus ICT infrastructure. Participants
will hear from consultants and fundraising experts, visit cutting-edge facilities
at the UI and Kirkwood Community College, and participate in video-conferences
with internationally recognized experts in the field.
"Once our African colleagues are on-line and comfortable with these
technologies, we will be able to communicate and collaborate more effectively,"
said Michael McNulty, UI geography professor and WiderNet co-director. "We
see this as a great opportunity to advance the Nigerian university IT capacity
and create more opportunities for students and faculty at the UI."
More information about the workshop, including events, times, locations
and participants, is on the Web: http://www.widernet.org/decisionmakers/techtour02/.
The University of Iowa's WiderNet Project aims to improve digital communication
in developing countries. This includes training computer technicians, coaching
decision-makers of Nigerian universities, increasing bandwidth, establishing
university intranets, donating computers and computer equipment, and distributing
library materials on CD-ROM.
The WiderNet Project is part of UI International Programs, which consists
of a number of offices, centers, degree and academic programs, research projects
and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International
Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community
and promote global scholarship, research and training.
The WiderNet Project is funded by the UI, the MacArthur Foundation, the
U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and
the Nigerian National Universities Commission. Additional funding for some
participants is provided by the Carnegie Corporation.
WiderNet is currently collecting used computer and network equipment for
use in Nigerian universities. For information on how to make donations, visit
the Web site, http://www.widernet.org,
or contact Justin Thiltgen at WiderNet (319) 335-2200.