Friday 10 February 2017, the Chancellor and founder of the Islamic Online
University (IOU), Dr. Bilal Philips and the Acting Vice Chancellor, Dr. Cherno
Omar Barry, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education,
Research, Science and Technology, paid a courtesy call to the Vice Chancellor of
the UTG, Prof. Anjum at his Office , the UTG Chancery, MDI Road, Kanifing. VC Anjum and his Deputy Vice Chancellor
Administration, Dr. Momodou Jain, welcomed the guest and emphasized on the need
for collaboration between the UTG and IOU.
According to Dr. Philip, the purpose of their visit was to explore
possible areas of collaboration with the UTG especially on joint programmes.
The UTG VC mentioned that the UTG intends to introduce a Bachelor of Science in
Halal science in the near future. Dr. Philip shared his experienced and efforts
to collaborate with scholars in Pakistan and Malaysia on programmes in Halal
Sciences but stressed on the lack of commitment from many to be an active part
of this. He implored VC Anjum to link him with a focal person to serve as a
focal person in Halal Sciences. In his response, VC Anjum assured him of his
full support in providing the curriculum and recommending someone.
Dr. Philip also recommended for close collaboration on joint online programmes with the UTG, using his University six-year experience in online programme preparation, where the IOU could be of immense support to the UTG to prepare online courses. He added that IOU is not in competition with the UTG but both institutions should seek to complement and support each other in order to reach the unreachable. For his part, acting VC Barry of the IOU emphasized on the need for the two institutions’ collaboration to be complementary and of mutual interest that would result to the signing of a memorandum of agreement to formalize the collaboration. According to VC Barry, the proposed MoA will focus on resource sharing, joint research and programmes. He further emphasized that higher education in the Gambia is mainly centered within the urban areas, and would require strong partnership between the public and private universities in order to breach the gap between rural and urban Gambia through a hybrid online programme to enhance and promote access to higher education throughout the country and beyond.
In his concluding remark, Dr. Philips said recent research has shown that in the US about 80% of those who graduate from university did their programmes online. Prof. Anjum for his part concluded by commending both Dr. Bilal Philips and Dr. Barry for the visit and for identifying UTG as a partner for collaboration. He reassures them of his full cooperation to establish and enforce the agreement.