Moving the Discussion Forward - The Role of African Women in Global Higher Education

April 21, 2011

By Aimee Thostenson

After hearing Sheryl WuDunn, coauthor of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, speak at NAFSA 2010 Annual Conference in Kansas City, I left feeling inspired and energized. WuDunn talked about key issues facing women today and offered concrete ways to contribute to the empowerment of women across the globe. This shared enthusiasm led to brainstorming with colleagues—how could we continue this discussion and bring it even closer to our daily work?

These conversations led to the idea of hosting a breakfast at NAFSA's 2011 Annual Conference in Vancouver that highlighted the themes of women and education in an international context. We have invited Nancy Keteku, an engaging and witty speaker, to share her perspective on The Role of African Women in Global Higher Education. Nancy has lived in Ghana for more than 30 years; she has been uniquely positioned to study the development of African universities and their role in the wider global arena. During the past 12 years as an EducationUSA regional educational advising coordinator (REAC), she has worked with the higher education sector in 40 African countries, gaining a perspective on development of both public and private institutions of higher education. Nancy has a great reputation for being a champion of women, education, and African students. She will get the day off to a great start!

I encourage you to attend this breakfast on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, from 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. We plan for a lively discussion and hope for your thoughts and input. If you are involved in recruiting and advising female students from Africa, what success stories can you share and what have you seen as challenges? If you promote study abroad in an African context, how has the experience impacted your students with regard to gender issues? If you are involved in international education leadership, how do you engage and support internationalization efforts in Africa and with African institutions that include female participation?

While this breakfast is sponsored by the Women's College & University MIG, the topic impacts all our work in international education. We hope you will take the time to join us! Register for the breakfast.


Aimee ThostensonAimee Thostenson, associate director of international admission at St. Catherine University, has been involved in the field of international education since 1996. Aimee served as coordinator of the Women's College and University Institutional Interest Group during 2009-2010.


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