Newswise — KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 18, 2016 -- University of Rhode Island President David M. Dooley is visiting the University of Cape Coast in Ghana for a week to talk about an ongoing collaboration between the two institutions and student exchange programs.

He also visited Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, also in Ghana, to discuss a partnership with that institution as well.

Dooley’s weeklong visit stemmed from a sustainable fisheries project led by the Coastal Resources Center at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography on the Narragansett Bay campus. Dooley has been busy during his trip, giving a lecture about globalization at the Ghana university, visiting local fisheries and touring a river in western Ghana. He is expected to return to Rhode Island tomorrow, April 19.

"We’re excited to have President Dooley in Ghana and get a firsthand look at the important work URI is doing there," said Carol McCarthy, communications specialist at URI’s Coastal Resources Center. "We are grateful for the University’s commitment to the project."

The coastal center has a long relationship with the Ghana university. URI is leading a five-year, $24 million United States Agency for International Development Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project to revitalize marine fisheries stocks. It is the largest USAID grant ever awarded to URI.

On Friday, Dooley gave a public lecture at the University of Cape Coast and later witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Coastal Resources Center and the university’s Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences and Centre for Coastal Management.

During his talk, Dooley said his vision when he became president of URI was to increase internationalization and globalization of the University and its students because the world is not just interconnected but interdependent and hyper-connected.

Such hyper-connectedness includes a global economy and society in which people communicate in seconds. He said the complexity of the modern world includes great challenges like climate change—beyond one single nation's ability to solve alone.

"With these global challenges also come global opportunities," he told the crowd. "We need to focus more on the opportunities. We are no longer insulated by borders and oceans as we once were, but in all of this, there are global opportunities and demand for higher education."

During the signing ceremony, Dooley received a gift of local Ghanaian kente cloth and sandals. The entire URI delegation received souvenirs from the Ghanaians as a symbol of friendship.

On Saturday, Dooley met with four doctoral and two master’s degree students bound for URI on a federally funded scholarship program. The graduate students went through an intensive and competitive selection process to win the scholarships.

Dooley congratulated and welcomed the students, in advance, to URI and said he hopes they make the most of the experience.

Also Saturday, two research assistants from the Ghana university supporting the fisheries project demonstrated how fish stock data is collected.

"We look forward to the President’s return," said McCarthy. "I’m sure he’ll have many experiences to share."