The MRC Holland foundation on the 16th of March, 2022, donated 2,358 brand new text books to the new University of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology (USET). The donation by the foundation was done in partnership with Biblionet organization in the Netherlands and publishers, Tailor and Francis.
The books donated range from different areas of study to include Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Management, Computer Science, Crop Science, Architecture, among many others.
The event was graced by the Honourable Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST), Senior Tertiary and Higher Education officer of MoHERST, representatives from MRC Holland Foundation, staff of USET, students, members of the press and others.
In his remark, the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Honourable Badara A. Joof, thanked MRC Holland for the donation and underlined that The Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) is changing into USET as a result of the policy change of the Ministry to reset and recalibrate the higher education sector. This, he said, is in response to the development imperative of the prevailing times.
“The development imperatives are a knowledge-based economy underpinned by science and technology. The Gambia has to go that way if it is to realise the global and national imperatives,” said Hon. Joof.
Hon. Joof informed the gathering that the new university has already started its engineering courses. These are Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering. In the upcoming years, MoHERST is expecting to expand the areas of study to include Chemical Engineering, Geometrics and others. Thus, the Ministry is optimistic that USET will address skill gaps in the country and curb the high unemployment rate.
“Obama said yes we can, I am saying we go beyond yes we can, to yes we did it. And we are going to do it,” said Hon. Joof
Presenting the books to the University was Head of the MRC Holland Foundation, Henrietta Sonko. During her speech, Ms. Sonko expressed optimism that the new USET is going to make science and technology well developed in the country. She hopes that the books will be put to good use so that knowledge on engineering can be indigenized.
For Senior Tertiary and Higher Education officer of MoHERST, Ms. Aminata Njie, the University of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology is a centre of excellence and the Ministry’s baby. Therefore, she reinforced that the baby needs to be nurtured in order to gain the best out of it. Ms. Njie went on to thank MRC Holland Foundation for the kind gesture saying the books will serve as an easy access for student research and general learning.
Speaking on behalf of the students, Lawkadinch S. Gomez, a Mechanical engineering student of USET, expressed gratitude for the books donated, noting it will prove effective in their education. She calls on other philanthropist for more support.