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March 29, 2004   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | Faculty from Tunisia visit to discuss issues related…

Faculty from Tunisia visit to discuss issues related to management, distance learning

Alan Flurry

Director of Communications, Franklin College

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By Alan Flurry | March 29, 2004
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Thirty professors from Tunisia are spending three weeks on the UGA campus, engaging in training and discussions in higher education management and distance learning. They were invited to UGA as part of a U.S. State Department-funded project directed by Takoi Hamrita, UGA associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering.

"The scope of this project required many people to come together in Tunisia and the United States. I am deeply moved by the commitment to international cooperation on both sides," says Hamrita, a native of Tunisia. "The progress we've made goes a long way in making the connections between our two countries stronger and lays the groundwork for strengthening the relationship through further educational and cultural exchanges."

Twenty of the professors are exploring pedagogical and technical aspects of distance learning with the Office of Instructional Support and Development. The distance learning discussions and training are taking place in classrooms of the Student Learning Center, where the OISD staff are exchanging ideas on the nuance of course design and remote teaching using technology.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with such an impressive group of international colleagues. I am certain we will learn as much from them as they learn from us," says Bill Jackson, director of OISD.

The Tunisian faculty also had the opportunity to visit the Center for Advanced Learning Technologies and work with University System of Georgia staff during a daylong seminar at UGA's Gwinnett campus.

The other 10 Tunisian faculty, business professors from Manouba University, are working with the Institute of Higher Education on such management issues as human resource development and university assessment and fund raising by calling on the expertise of several high-level UGA administrators. "We're grateful for the opportunity to exchange ideas with our Tunisian colleagues about our respective systems of higher education," said Tom Dyer, director of UGA's Institute of Higher Education. "It has been stimulating for our faculty, staff and students."

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