A delegation of educators and businesspeople from Angola visited Houston last week to discuss potential collaborations with the Cullen College of Engineering as well as the entire University of Houston.
The meeting was part of a follow-up to a memorandum of understanding signed in November 2008 between UH and Agostinho Neto University, the largest public university in Angola.
Both meetings focused on developing educational programs to help Agostinho Neto graduate engineers and scientists with the skills to work in Angola’s petroleum industry, which makes up the bulk of the country’s economy. The gatherings were initiated by Cullen College alum Terri Ivers (BSME '80), president of Amec Paragon, an international engineering and project management company that performs work in Angola.
During last week’s meeting, leaders of the Cullen College and Agostinho Neto covered several ways in which the University of Houston could help Augustino Neto improve its engineering education and research as well as graduate a larger number of engineers.
According to Suresh Khator, associate dean of graduate programs at the Cullen College and UH’s representative during the 2008 meeting with Agostinho Neto, several potential collaborations were covered during last week’s gathering.
One was the creation of a “three plus two” program, where Agostinho Neto undergraduates would spend three years studying in Angola and then come to Houston for their senior year and first year of graduate study. The group also discussed creating intensive graduate-level courses, where a full course would be taught to working engineers during a week of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. classes, followed by a final exam a month later. Petroleum companies operating in Angola and/or the country’s petroleum ministry will likely support such efforts, Khator said.