Sam Koffi speaks with UCA students during his visit.

Samuel Koffi, vice president and chief operating officer at the International University of Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast, visited the University of Central Arkansas Jan. 31 to Feb. 1 to meet with students from the Ivory Coast who are studying at UCA.

With 59 students in the spring 2019 semester, the Ivory Coast ranks second in the number of international students enrolled at UCA.

During his campus visit, Koffi met with Micheal Hargis, dean of the College of Business; Clay Arnold, chair of the Department of Political Science; and Gizachew Tiruneh, associate professor in the Department of Political Science. The group discussed various ways that faculty members from UCA and IUGB might collaborate further in the areas of research and teaching.

Phillip Bailey, associate vice president for International Engagement at UCA and Sonia Toudji, associate professor of history, met with the IUGB administration on Jan. 21, 2019 in the Ivory Coast, as part of a two-week recruitment trip that spanned four countries in Africa. IUGB officials and Bailey discussed renewing a memorandum of understanding that has been active for the past three years, allowing hundreds of Ivorian students to transfer to UCA to continue their undergraduate studies after completing their associate degrees at IUGB. Some students stay longer to pursue graduate study at UCA.

IUGB was founded in 2005 with eight students in the first term. In spring 2019, they have over 800 students, and last year they began offering four-year degree programs in computer science, math, business and political science. The university is a self-professed American-style university offering all its courses in English. International University of Grand-Bassam has plans to build a new campus on 130 acres and is striving to become the leading English language university in French-speaking West Africa. For more information, visit