University expertise to benefit Sudan's construction industry
Release Date 14 February 2011
Despite the political uncertainty in Sudan, representatives from across the whole country recently gathered to hear from construction experts from the University of Reading.
Representatives from the University's renowned School of Construction Management (SCME) successfully launched a project with partners the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Khartoum. The project aims to improve the standard of the construction industry within the Sudan.
A 2009 United Nations Millennium Development Goal1 (UNMDG) report revealed that sub-Saharan Africa ‘remains the region with the highest prevalence of slums'. The same report stated that ‘Women are also poorly represented in non-agricultural employment in sub-Saharan Africa'.
Statistics show that, increasingly, women are overtaking men in higher education. Currently 90% of students enrolled in the Faculty of Architecture, at the University of Khartoum, are women but generally they are extremely under-represented in the construction industry.
Funded by the Department for International Development and administered by the British Council, the partnership aims to advance the education and sound practice of construction management in the Sudan. This will further contribute to the UNMDGs, especially in the areas of sustainable social housing and women empowerment.
During the visit, the Reading team delivered various presentations covering international construction, construction of areas of conflict with reference to Southern Sudan and Darfur and sustainable social housing.
The Reading team also visited the Mygoma Orphanage and Childcare Centre in Khartoum and made a contribution to the centre on behalf of School staff, their families and friends. The sponsorship of the orphanage will be an on going activity.
Professor Steve Mithen, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International and External Engagement at the University of Reading, said: "We very much enjoyed our visit to the University of Khartoum, especially meeting the Deputy Vice Chancellor who is a University of Reading alumni.
"The principal aim of the Construction Management Project is to share knowledge and develop an open approach to the design and management of buildings and infrastructure. As well as developing further specialised undergraduate, postgraduate and CPD courses, the partnership will promote the exchange of excellence and ideas, academic materials and publications in construction management, and host joint workshops and international conferences. During the visit I was able to visit the English Language Institute at the University of Khartoum to discuss how the University of Reading might support the development of English language teaching in Sudan. I also visited the University of Ahfad and the Sudanese University of Science and Technology to explore possible teaching and research collaborations."
Dr Gamal Hamid Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, University of Khartoum said: "The visit by representatives of the University of Reading was very instrumental in strengthening the burgeoning relationship between the University of Khartoum at large, and our Faculty of Architecture in particular, and the University of Reading.
"It was very useful in sharing knowledge and expertise about recent developments in the construction industry, and also in developing new approaches for in-depth investigation of emerging issues in Sudan, such as the status of women in the construction industry and in post-conflict regions such as Darfur and Southern Sudan. We look forward to more interaction with colleagues from SCME and Reading."
Reading's team included Professor Steve Mithen (PVC for International and External Engagement), Professor Stuart Green (Head of the School of Construction Management and Engineering), Professor Roger Flanagan, Professor Derek Croome, Dr Tabarak Ballal, , Mrs Amna Shibeika, Dr Abbas Elmualim (Project Coordinator) and Ms Beth Reed (Reading International Office)
For further information about this project please contact the Project Coordinator Dr Abbas Elmualim at email@example.com.
Further press information from James Barr, University of Reading press office, 0118 378 7115
Notes to Editors:
The project is funded under the Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DelPHE) programme with £60k over three year period.
1 Both institutions hope that by providing a coherent framework for educational and professional courses in construction management and engineering, in general and sustainable social housing in particular, the project will contribute to United Nations Millennium Development Goals including sustainable development and climate change, clean water, health issues, science and technology, energy, status of women, peace and conflict, and global ethics.
The University of Reading's School of Construction Management is a world leader in teaching and research about the management, design and economics of engineered technologies, primarily in the construction field. Its global reputation for innovation, focused on real-world problems facing the management of the built environment, attracts academics, students and industry professionals of the highest calibre. It has strong links to industry, professional institutions and governments around the world and attained a top international rating of 5 in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.
The School also hosts the multi-million pound Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC)-funded Innovative Construction Research Centre. http://www.reading.ac.uk/icrc/
The roots of the University of Khartoum (U of K) go back to 1898 when Lord Kitchener of Khartoum proposed founding a college in memory of General Gordon.
Since its establishment in 1902, the University of Khartoum - by virtue of its position as the ‘mother' for all Sudanese universities is entrusted with:
- Providing a variety of high quality programs both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels for all specializations and disciplines.
- Providing education and training services of the highest quality in accordance with international standards and with values that are derived from the Sudanese culture.
- Embracing modern concepts in all the services it provides and nurturing research environments with the aim of raising the competence of students to high standards that would enable them to undertake the responsibility of work and interaction with the society at both national and international levels.
- As an intellectual reserve and stock of knowledge, the University aims at fulfilling the needs of the society and the requirements for development and directing these needs and requirements