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Trent Professor Heading to Botswana on WUSC Mission
April 4, 2007

Professor Tim Stapleton Among Leading Academics Heading to Botswana on WUSC Mission

Delegation to Explore Collaboration Opportunities to Create New University in Africa

Professor Tim StapletonProfessor Tim Stapleton, chair of the History Department at Trent University, has been invited to join the team of leading Canadian academics participating in the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) mission to Botswana from April 27 to May 9.

The purpose of this mission is to expand student and institutional collaboration opportunities between universities in Canada and Botswana. In particular, this mission will explore ways that Canadian post-secondary institutions can support the development of a new university of science and technology under construction in Palapye, Botswana. It will also explore possible new ties with the well-established University of Botswana in Gabarone.

"Botswana is a relatively prosperous and stable country in Africa, so it’s realistic for their students to come to Canada as part of an academic exchange ," explained Prof. Stapleton. "Often it’s difficult for Canadian universities to have a balanced partnership with African educational institutions. This is an exciting opportunity to strengthen Trent’s relationship with universities in Botswana because both have a lot to offer one another."

Under Prof. Stapleton’s mentorship in 2005, Trent students piloted the Students Without Borders program in Botswana for WUSC through service-learning placements. Prof Stapleton is hoping to build on this basis to strengthen ties between Trent and the University of Botswana. "The University of Botswana has four research priorities that tie in nicely to Trent’s growing expertise in specific centres of knowledge, " said Prof. Stapleton. "These research areas connect to Botswana’s development priorities and include indigenous knowledge, peace and culture, HIV and tourism." Prof. Stapleton points out that Trent’s prominent Indigenous Studies and International Development Studies programs, as well as the recently established International Consortium on Anti-Virals, speak to Trent’s important role during this mission.

Prof. Stapleton joined Trent in 1998 after spending some years teaching at Rhodes University and the University of Fort Hare in South Africa. He is an historian of Africa with specific research interests focusing on South Africa and Zimbabwe, and the themes of resistance to colonial conquest, the development of ethnic identity, oral tradition as historical evidence, and war and society.

WUSC is a network of individuals and postsecondary institutions who believe that all people are entitled to the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to a more equitable world. WUSC’s mission is to foster human development and global understanding through education and training. Since its origins in 1925, WUSC is now active on over 50 campuses across Canada. WUSC’s Executive Director, Paul Davidson, is an alumnus of Trent University who also sits on the Trent International Advisory Council.