Eight universities that are members of the Southeastern Conference are undertaking an effort to recruit students from Africa to come to the United States to pursue higher education.
Louisiana State University is leading the initiative with peers from the University of Alabama, the University of Arkansas, the University of Florida, the University of Kentucky, the University of Mississippi, the University of Missouri, the University of South Carolina, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
“Sub-Saharan Africa is a strategically important market for LSU and other SEC universities,” said Roy Haggerty, executive vice president and provost at Louisiana State University. “Louisiana has a long-standing history with West Africa, in particular. It is my hope that this joint initiative will lead to new opportunities for LSU and our SEC peers to work in Sub-Saharan Africa in ways that are beneficial to everyone.”
Samba Dieng, the senior internationalization officer and executive director of international programs at Louisiana State University, is leading a week-long recruitment trip with the senior international officers from the other universities. “Partnerships should be at the core of everything we do as international educators,” Dieng said. “This intentional partnership will make the SEC the primary destination for students from Sub-Saharan Africa.”
A native of Senegal, Dieng came to Louisiana State University in 2021 after serving as director of international students and scholars within the Office of International Affairs at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Nebraska-Kearney and a master’s degree in political science and international relations from Indiana State University.