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Saturday, 17. March 2018

Akwaaba – Welcome to the TU Dortmund

May 11th 2010 - The Ghanaian Vice Minister for Local Government and Rural Development is visiting the ISPC at the Faculty of Spatial Planning “Akwaaba – Welcome to the TU Dortmund.” These were the welcoming words for the 16‐headed delegation from Ghana at the International Spatial Planning Centre (ISPC), Faculty of Spatial Planning, at the 15th of April 2010.
The delegation was headed by Hon. Elvis Afriyie Ankra, the Ghanaian viceminister for local government and rural development. “This is more than just an official visit. Here we feel like a family” were the introductorily words of the salutation speech delivered by the minister.

Indeed, the university‐cooperation between the TU Dortmund and Ghana already exists for the past 25 years. For the same period of time the TU Dortmund and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi have been carrying out their joint Master course SPRING. And of particular importance for the Ghanaian delegation is the fact that the university‐cooperation with the TU Dortmund has had an important impact on the implementation of decentralization in Ghana.
The delegation, consisting of representatives of the ministry as well as representatives of the local planning and government institutions, had been invited to Germany by the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The journey is supposed to offer an inside view into the basic outlines of the German local government and their linkages with the other administrative levels.
A lively discussion came up after the welcoming speech of the head of the ISPC Professor Dr. Einhard Schmidt‐Kallert and the managing director Dr. Anne Weber and their presentation on ISPC and the SPRING programme. The experiences of three former Ghanaian SPRING students, which are currently doing their PhD at the Faculty of Spatial Planning, and two current Ghanaian SPRING students enriched the discussion. Thus the visitors could get first hand information on the positive experiences with lecturing and studying at the TU Dortmund and the factors for success of the SPRING programme. One PhD student pointed out the joint scientific research carried out by PhD students and professors as equals. This way of studying is in complete contrast to the Ghanaian way of studying, where hierarchic attitudes still prevail. The high practical relevance of the SPRING curriculum as well as the high numbers of SPRING graduates returning to their home countries were pointed out by other participants.
The outstanding idea of the SPRING programme: the scope of a joint Master programme provided by a German and a Ghanaian Planning Faculty for international students and the award of a joint transcript of records, which is signed by both universities, were greatly appreciated by the audience.