The University community was on Friday, July 9, treated to a colourful spectacle of rich cultural performance, arts, history, music and dance from across Africa. The occasion was the maiden commemoration of International Students Cultural Day at UPSA.
The eagerly anticipated event also saw some thrilling performances including spoken word, choral music and sing-alongs as the students revelled in the opportunity to celebrate their cultural identities.
The celebration which was open to the entire University community gave international students the opportunity to showcase their home-country traditions while sharing their experiences with Ghanaian culture.
The foreign students displayed the culture of their country, focusing on food, shelter, fashion, transportation, wildlife, art, geography, religion, important landmarks and history.
The performers, representing Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire and Togo were dressed in ceremonial or traditional clothing from their respective countries.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Barnor who chaired the event noted that the promotion of cultural diversity is a human right issue that requires institutions to put in place systems and structures that foster peaceful co-existence of students from diverse geographical and social backgrounds.
He said the Cultural Day Celebrations have been strategically established to enable students learn more about other countries, and to respect and become more aware of the various cultures on campus in order to foster unity.
Prof Barnor reiterated Management’s commitment to ensuring that foreign students at the university enjoyed a wonderful moment during their period of study.
He urged them to be good ambassadors of the university when they return to their home countries.
Director of the Centre for International Education and Collaboration (CIEC), Professor Abigail Opoku Mensah observed that the increase in demand for internalisation and globalisation in recent years has brought about cross-border student mobility across the world.
As a result, she said higher education institutions in Ghana have experienced an upsurge in the number of international students over the last decade mainly from neighbouring African countries, Europe and America.
Despite this increment in international student enrolment, she said UPSA was yet to fully tap into this market.
Prof. Abigail Opoku Mensah believes the enrolment of international students when explored will contribute to the diversity and internationalisation of the classroom experience, campus and the university community at large.
She added that the University through CIEC introduced the International Students Cultural Day celebrations to create awareness of the presence of international students while calling for the support of members of the community to make their stay on campus worthwhile.
The maiden edition was graced by some high profile international guests including the Minister in charge of Education and Culture at the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana; The First Secretary at the High Commission of Sierra Leone in Ghana; and the Minister in charge of Culture and Education at the Embassy of Cote d’Ivoire in Ghana.
It was also attended by the Registrar of the University, Dr Koryoe Anim-Wright as well as Deans, directors, heads of departments and students.