With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the United States, Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, has increased its research and cooperation activities with prominent foreign universities.
Representatives from both universities, including Professor Jonathan Babalola from Bowen University and President Wiebe Boer and Dean Adejoke Ayoola from Calvin University, expressed their steadfast excitement for the transformative partnership at the M0U’s official signing ceremony, which was held in Lagos recently.
They emphasised how much promise it has for developing cutting-edge research, enhancing education, and increasing international cooperation.
According to Professor Jonathan Babalola, vice chancellor of Bowen University, the two universities shared a mission of intellectual growth, spiritual development, and academic achievement, which is why they came together to create this historic relationship.
Bowen University is determined to take advantage of every opportunity the relationship will present to learn from its esteemed counterpart about the maintenance of a robust Christian identity while excelling academically, upholding the core values that define the faith-based institutions, he said, given Calvin University’s illustrious history spanning nearly 150 years.
Professor Babalola continued the discussion of the partnership by stating: “Calvin is a Christian liberal arts university that was founded in 1876 with the goal of becoming more globally influential.
“Calvin’s goal is to be a trusted partner for learning across religious and cultural differences throughout the academy. It equips students to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world.
“Calvin has strong programming housed in Schools of Health, STEM, Education, Business, and Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences programmes.
“Bowen University, as a faith-based institution, aspires to produce graduates that will imbibe Christian values, critical thinking and creativity into the knowledge and skills acquired in their different disciplines, just like Calvin University.
“This informed Bowen University’s interest in partnering with Calvin in different areas of programming to learn more about how Calvin sustains a Christian identity, as well as maintain academic excellence after nearly 150 years of existence.
“To start the partnership activities, Carnegie Foundation sponsored one of Calvin University African-born Scholars, to work with Bowen University Nursing Department in the Summer of 2017 and 2021. One of the expected outcomes of the Carnegie Foundation African Scholar Programme is collaboration between the host institution (Bowen) and the scholar’s institution (Calvin).
“The Carnegie programme allowed a Calvin Scholar to interact with Bowen faculty members and students. As a result of this successful partnership, it boosted the relationship that informed the signing of the MOU with Calvin University recently.
“The purpose of this MOU is to establish the shared understanding by which the two universities shall endeavor towards realising their common objectives to strengthen each other’s programmes and partnership activities.
“The cooperation will focus on the following areas: exchange of faculty and staff members, including semester and short-term study programmes, including; Bowen faculty and staff joining Calvin as Visiting Scholars and participating in Calvin-related activities relevant to their disciplines that will enhance their knowledge and skills in teaching from a Christian perspective in their disciplines/professions.
“Secondly, Calvin faculty and staff will visit Bowen to experience new cultures and world views within various professions and disciplines. It will also involve exchange of students to facilitate cross-cultural engagement and promote understanding of global health among the two institutions.
“The relationship also covers Bowen students exploring Calvin as part of some of their courses or learning trips.”