Ties between Technical University of Mombasa and France have formally been endorsed following a commitment-assurance visit by French Ambassador to Kenya Antoine Sivan last Friday.
Sivan who led a delegation from the embassy and Mombasa-based French language and Cultural Centre, Allaince Francais, held talks with the TUM delegation led by Acting Vice Chancellor Laila Abubakar.
Sivan said the French government was committed to ensure a French language centre at TUM becomes operational besides supporting the university’s efforts to have a medical school which Prof Laila rooted for.
The ambassador came to bolster a Memorandum of Understanding between TUM and Allaince Francais signed last December that will see French Language classes being offered at TUM at Hospitality and Tourism department.
“We are, as a people, determined to have our ties even stronger. I am looking forward to holding talks in French when I come back here soon,” said Sivan.
French will be offered to both students and staff with Allaince Francais providing fees subsidy as well as lecturers apart from exchange programmes.
“We need to have exchange programmes where our students and staff have an opportunity to go to France for the language learnt to be meaningful. Linguistic competency comes with familiarization with the culture” she said.
While the whole idea was championed by former School of Humanities Dean Dr Susan Bosire, details emerged at the meeting that Prof Laila had an input into the collaborations when she visited France last year.
“I leant that a number of local universities have benefitted from the French government and universities in France during the 2016 Vice Chancellors visit to the institutions there. We are keen to collaborate with you too,” she said.