The WiderNet Project Announces Visit of 24 African University Administrators

Contact: Justin Thiltgen (319) 335-2200
September 12, 2002

The WiderNet Project Announces Visit of 24 African University Administrators

Iowa City, IA – The University of Iowa’s WiderNet Project will be hosting two dozen high-level Nigerian University Administrators from September 20-October 4 for a workshop focusing on computers and networks in higher education. The two week session is designed to introduce decision makers to a wide variety of issues they face as they digitize their campuses and to provide technical, financial, and organizational coaching.

“The goal of this workshop is to provide our visitors hands-on and practical exposure to IT on campus,” says Cliff Missen, co-director of the WiderNet Project. “Many of our guests are installing their institution’s first ICT infrastructure and we aim to assist these partners in gaining the expertise to be second time buyers the first time around.”

Dozens of University of Iowa experts and professionals will host discussions, seminars, and hands-on demonstrations of the campus ICT infrastructure. Participants will hear from consultants and fundraising experts, visit cutting-edge facilities at the UI and Kirkwood Community College, and participate in video-conferences with internationally recognized experts in the field.

“Once our African colleagues are on-line and comfortable with these technologies, we will be able to communicate and collaborate more effectively,” says Michael McNulty, the WiderNet Project’s other co-director. “We see this as a great opportunity to advance the Nigerian university IT capacity and create more opportunities for students and faculty at the UI.”

For more information about the workshop, including events, times, locations and participants, please visit the Website at

The University of Iowa’s WiderNet Project aims to improve digital communication in developing countries. This includes training computer technicians, coaching decision-makers of Nigerian universities, increasing bandwidth, establishing university intranets, donating computers and computer equipment, and distributing library materials on CD-ROM.

The WiderNet Project is part of University of Iowa International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree and academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and training.

The WiderNet Project is funded by the University of Iowa, the MacArthur Foundation, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Nigerian National Universities Commission. Additional funding for some participants has been provided by the Carnegie Corporation.

More information about the WiderNet Project can be found at their Web site

WiderNet is currently collecting used computer and network equipment for use in Nigerian universities. For information on how to make donations, visit the Web site, or contact WiderNet at (319) 335.2200.