The vital role science teachers play in encouraging more girls into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers was celebrated by Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Blackman in Mauritius.
Speaking at the Science and Technology Enrolment Programme (STEP) awards, Professor Blackman spoke about ensuring a level playing field for men and women so more women progress to leadership positions.
The STEP ceremony for 100 Mauritian school girls closed the week-long Future Women Leaders in STEM event, designed to help girls learn more about careers in science and technology and ‘inspire the Mauritian scientific leaders of tomorrow’.
“Just as Africa can leapfrog the developed world by developing sustainable science and technology from scratch, it can leapfrog the developed world by growing diverse scientific communities,” said Professor Blackman.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Planet Earth Institute Foundation Board Members Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, the Rt Hon Lord Paul Boateng, Sir Christopher Edwards and Sir Magdi Yacoub.
Also speaking at the event was the President of Mauritius Her Excellency Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank Professor Kaushick Basu, and Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare Hon Marie-Aurore Marie-Joyce Perraud.
Professor Blackman attended the event with Dr Karen Pettit, Campus Director of Middlesex University Mauritius.
The previous day they had officiated at the Middlesex University Mauritius Branch Campus graduation, where the President of Mauritius and council members of the Planet Earth Institute Foundation received honorary degrees alongside 200 graduating students.
Earlier in the week, Professor Blackman visited the site of the University’s new campus in Flic-en-Flac, meeting with the University’s partner and STEP sponsors Medine.
The development is scheduled to be completed in September 2017 and will provide students with the best higher education facilities in Mauritius.
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