- We went there to find out if it made sense to send students on internships in Ghana, and what other opportunities students from the Chemical and Biotechnical Science and Environmental Technology study programmes could have there. The conclusion is that there is a great potential in Ghana, says Michael Bloch-Levermore, lecturer at Cphbusiness.
Along with Mikkel West-Nørager, who is also a lecturer at Cphbusiness, he has visited University of Cape Coast (UCC) and a number of other potential partners in Ghana in West Africa.
- UCC has the advantage that they are a university, and that they educate at Ph.D. level. They have a lot of interesting research projects where we can cooperate. That is the reason we thought they could be an interesting partner, says Michael Bloch-Levermore.
Lecturer Mikkel West-Nørager from Cphbusiness in Ghana.
Students and used laboratory equipment to Ghana
Cphbusiness has cooperated with UCC since 2013 and has earlier hosted representatives from UCC and sent students from Cphbusiness to Ghana for two weeks. Michael Bloch-Levermore's and Mikkel West-Nørager's trip lasted eight days.
- The goal is to find research projects that the students want to be part of, and where they can see themselves doing their internship, says Michael Bloch-Levermore.
- One of the lecturers from UCC was very honest and said that if we want to send students to Ghana, we have to bring equipment because it is very limited what is available at UCC, he says.
Visit at University of Cape Coast (UCC).
Before the trip, Mikkel West-Nørager got the idea that Cphbusiness should start a donation project and give away used laboratory equipment to Ghana.
- The idea is to send equipment to Ghana, so both UCC and Cphbusiness can gain something from it. Our local network frequently contacts us about equipment they do not use anymore. The equipment works perfectly fine, but it is no longer relevant for them due to the high requirements for companies to have the newest equipment. This equipment can be sent to Ghana, says Michael Bloch-Levermore.
Lecturer Michael Bloch-Levermore from Cphbusiness in Ghana.
Electronic waste and stingless bees
Besides UCC, Michael Bloch-Levermore and Mikkel West-Nørager visited Stingless Bee Center and Zoomlion among others.
At the Stingless Bee Center they focus on bees that do not sting, and the bees' beehives and honey are different than other bees'.
- It would be interesting for our students to look into how you maintain the bees because they play a big part in the ecosystem. They do not have the equipment to test the characteristics of the honey, and therefore a donation system would be a good idea, says Michael Bloch-Levermore.
Visit at Stingless Bee Center.
Zoomlion is Ghana's biggest company in waste management.
- Ghana has big problems with electronic waste. It is the world's largest waste dump for electronics, says Michael Bloch-Levermore and continues:
- Thus it is a central place to try and tackle this issue. Additionally, Ghana is a country with great inequality, and it is a development country, so a stay in Ghana gives knowledge about a very different part of the world.
Visits and internships - hopefully already in 2017
Among other things it can be challenging to collect enough equipment and get the financials right - but the dream is that the students collect used equipment, make instruction videos to the equipment and visit UCC with their lecturers, and that the first interns travel to Ghana during 2017, says Michael Bloch-Levermore.
- The students should go to Ghana because they gain some useful and important skills, when they have tried studying in another language and in a completely different context than in their home country. You get a lot of experience through trying something in another country and achieve an international mind-set, he says.
Furthermore, the two lecturers consider sending laboratory tests from Ghana to Denmark and inviting Ghanaian guest speakers to Cphbusiness.
- It was exciting to get an insight into a different world. We do not know exactly what will happen and when, but we are very optimistic, and there is great potential in collaborating with UCC, says Michael Bloch-Levermore.
Pictures: Michael Bloch-Levermore