West Africa Program


Engage in research, fieldwork and experiential courses in West Africa through the U’s close collaboration with Ensign College in Kpong, Ghana.

Ensign College is a world-class teaching institution located in the heart of West Africa. Its unique location and its commitment to change the world through scholarship makes it an ideal setting for advancing high-impact health and development solutions.

The Global U: West Africa and Ensign College partnership is committed to offering world-class programming that:

  • connects students with meaningful, expansive experiences that will forever shape their perspective and ability to make a difference;
  • empowers researchers with the tools, locations, and relationships to generate scholarly work that is context-informed and impact-driven;
  • greatly improves health and economic development for the people of West Africa;
  • results in globally applicable solutions that benefit other regions and countries, including the US.

Opportunities for University of Utah Students

Both undergraduate and graduate students can take advantage of several opportunities to advance their study in West Africa:

West Africa ProgramEccles Global Health & Development (BUS 3800/5800)

Held during the summer semester and is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all majors.

Student with ElephantEccles Global Poverty Alleviation and Entrepreneurship (ENTP 5800/6800)

Offered during spring and fall breaks. This hands-on, resume building course partners students with local businesses to provide consulting under the advisement of top U faculty members.

Students in West AfricaEnsign Global Leaders Internship

Offers students the opportunity to develop real-life skills to support their future career and educational goals.

Students at TanzaniaHonors College Health in Context Emphasis

Allows students to complete most of their honors degree requirements while studying in Ghana for one summer semester.

Ensign Global Leaders High School Program is a unique 4-week opportunity for community engagement, cultural immersion, and leadership development in Ghana and Paris, all while having the opportunity to earn University of Utah credit.

The Global U West Africa partnership with Ensign College offers exciting opportunities for faculty members looking to enhance their Health & Development scholarship.

  • A cooperative agreement was awarded to the University of Utah from the USAID’s Office for American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA) to fund construction of a new facility to house and establish an Institute for Community Health and Development at Ensign College. The program focuses on the integration of health and economic development to advance the well-being of families and communities through impact-driven research and innovation. The programs and facility serve as an entrepreneurial hub to improve community health and well-being and reduce global poverty through economic self-reliance.The facility is scheduled to be completed in late 2021, with programming for the Institute already underway.
  • Health 2 Go is a program through Ensign College, in collaboration with the U, that creates capacity for communities to be healthy, well, and self-reliant. The program offers a proven plug-in system that brings basic health services to communities to improve maternal and child health and survival, reduce the demand for institutionalized health services and overall healthcare costs, expand workforce capacity, and accelerate progress towards health-related SDGs.

Through the formal collaboration between the U and Ensign College, opportunities exist to host courses, conferences and workshops in West Africa. The Ensign Global Campus offers a wonderful location for many different types of educational programs and courses from universities and organizations worldwide. From short-term courses to intensive workshops and trainings, the Ensign facilities accommodate a variety of offerings to support all of your educational, community service, or development needs. The state-of-the-art campus includes a conference center, classrooms, computer lab and auditorium available to universities, institutions, and non-governmental organizations. Ensign Global Campus also offers beautiful conference rooms, covered outdoor space, on-site culinary service, high speed internet, uninterrupted electrical power, 24-hour security and luxurious guest accommodations.

Stephen C. Alder

Special Advisor for West Africa Programs

Alicen Bringard

Director, Finance and Accounting

Jill Stephenson

Administration Manager