Dutch Scholar thumbs Up Covenant Faculty, Students
Covenant’s International Visiting Scholar, Dr Loes Damhof, has commended the intellectual prowess of both members of faculty and students of Covenant University.
Dr. Damhof, originally, of Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands, is among the motley crowd of international scholars that had been attracted by the rising profile of Covenant as a world-class research and teaching University. She was at Covenant to teach students of Mass Communication on Intercultural Communication and the faculty on Futures Literacy.
Covenant and Hanze University of Applied Sciences are currently working out possible partnership particularly on UNESCO’s Foresight and Futures Literacy alubal project.
The Dutch stated: “Teaching a class of the students at Covenant University has been a wonderful experience and I’m really amazed at seeing how smart they are, how critical they are in their thinking, how creative they are, how willing they are to engage in meaningful conversation, which has helped me a lot as a professor as well. Same with the students, I was amazed by the intellectual capacity, the drive and professionalism of these faculty, and it has been one of the easiest groups to work with. So, it’s really a pleasure to work with them.”
Teaching the students intercultural communication, she said, was quite important since Covenant, moving fast along the 21st century, had opened her doors to a lot of international students. According to her, if you wanted to work with other cultures and collaborate internationally and across time zones, across borders and across cultures, such skills were very important and intercultural communication was one of the and it was really important that students acquired the skill.
Damhof, who has been teaching intercultural communication for a long time at Hanze University, had trained eight (8) faculty in total in the capability of Futures Literacy. Futures Literacy, she explained, was the capability that helped one to use the future. “Now, after we see that we used knowledge of the past and the present to make sense of the world, we are also using the future every day; so, every time every day we get up, we plan our future; the future has a lot of impact on the way we think and how we behave.
“Now, Futures Literacy is about challenging or examining the assumptions you have about the future; it’s when we are predicting, dreaming or fearing the future, we always do that on assumptions. So, if we examine those assumptions, we’ll be opening up a lot of creativity, it means delving into the full potential of our imagination. The world is standing for big complex issues, just as the African continent. Think about Climate Change, Migration, the Economy and Poverty. So, we really can use all the creativity and imagination we can get in order to think and come up with innovative solutions,” she averred.
The scholar asserted that what Covenant had was a first class of trainees, who just finished the first training and were willing to implement it and teach the students crucial 21st century skills.
On her impression of Covenant, Dr. Damhof said that unlike a lot of institutions that just talked the talk and didn’t always walk the walk, she could see that Covenant was really serious about innovation, entrepreneurship and heading towards the future. Covenant, she added, was very serious about her ambition and that was not talking the talk, she was actually walking the walk, which had been wonderful to see.
She admonished Covenant, West Africa’s Best University, to keep her innovative mindset and the capacity to look beyond the obvious and think outside the box. She stressed that the University and also empower students to find their own unique purpose in their unique drive. “I want Covenant to continue on that path, to open the door to international faculty like myself so we can learn from it as well. I really see this (Covenant) as an open place that invited people to come in and to learn together. Yes, I was a teacher but I’ve learnt just as much and I think if we all continue to embrace that attitude, the world will become a better place,” Dr. Damhof surmised.
The appointment of International Visiting Scholars at Covenant is renewable each academic session. Each stay is an opportunity for scholars to engage in teaching, scholarly scientific life of the University community, and possible research collaborations with members of the faculty in the receiving Department.