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University gives a Christmas gift with a difference

09 December 2009

In the next few weeks, a Christmas present with a difference will arrive in the Gambia as part of a UK-wide appeal to support the development of the country’s higher education system.

This week, a new shipment of 40 high-grade desktop computers will be on its way to the University of the Gambia which will significantly change the learning experience of thousands of students in the Gambia.

The Gambia is the smallest and one of the poorest countries in Africa, and until 2001 had no university of its own. Today, it is home to a growing institution, with 2,500 students and run by highly qualified Gambian professors who have returned home to set up the University.

And thanks to the generosity of staff across Cardiff University, staff and students at University of the Gambia are enjoying a growing academic library and soon-to-be better equipped computer facilities.

In 2008, staff at Cardiff undertook a major effort to provide the Gambian students with access to books and equipment in support of the Gambia University Appeal, a charitable organisation set up by the British Study Partnership.

For the last 12 months the International Office and Information Services have been coordinating the appeal across the University. The initial book appeal saw more than 1,000 textbooks from three of the University’s libraries sent to University of the Gambia – forming the largest part of a shipment sent out to the Gambia in January 2009.

Rhys Evans, a senior international officer in the International Office at Cardiff University, said: "We are in a fortunate position to be able to help University of the Gambia. Our computer donation should be arriving in late January, and should make a huge difference to the 2,500 students who are currently sharing a single computer laboratory in the University buildings."

Mr Lamin Touray, Registrar of University of the Gambia, said: "Our University expands in student numbers every year to meet growing needs of our country, and yet our computer equipment does not increase to match these higher numbers. The gift from Cardiff University will enable us to furnish a new computer suite, which will allow more students to access computers and the internet."

Lowri Jones
Public Relations
T: 02920 870 995