Links between the University of Makeni (UNIMAK) and the University of Sheffield (UK) are being strengthened in three ways:
1. Sheffield University has launched a 2-3 year programme of work that seeks to identify and mobilise UNIMAK alumni to support the future development of the University. The key elements of the Alumni Outreach Project are:
> To understand how alumni engagement supports the development of a University. Students to spend some time in the University Alumni office understanding its role and functions. Outputs: Report to UNIMAK
> To trace and map UNIMAK alumni within the diaspora. It is known that a large number of University graduates from Sierra Leone are now domiciled overseas. This will involve engagement with the SL Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and research SL community associations in both the UK and the US. Outputs: Online survey and compilation of a database with
contact information and other professional details.
>To trace and map UNIMAK alumni in Sierra Leone. This may involve a partnership between students from UNIMAK and Sheffield.
>To deliver a report to UNIMAK and Makeni Trust alongside a database of alumni. To hold further discussions about how to facilitate engagement with alumni.
2. The two universities have agreed to extend the partnership programme with UNIMAK acting as placement partner for this year’s cohort of new Sheffield Masters students. Margi Bryant, Sheffield’s Teaching Associate (PGT Programmes) writes: “All our students who have worked at UNIMAK have found it an extremely rewarding and valuable experience”.
3. Sheffield students are organising a ‘Book Harvest’ to enhance the UNIMAK library, working to a list provided by Jessica Jones, an alumna of Sheffield University. Jessica, who completed her Masters placement at UNIMAK in 2014 , is currently helping out at UNIMAK with research skills for their students, whilst doing her doctoral thesis.