Four of the 24 Chibok girls that escaped from Boko Haram in 2014 and came to the American University of Nigeria (AUN) for their education, were among the new students formally accepted into the university during the convocation and pledge ceremony on August 29. The matriculation ceremony witnessed a large turnout of parents and students.
Since their lucky escape, all the 24 have been on the university’s scholarship studying under a special preparatory programme. Also among the new students were those accepted from various applications for the maiden class of AUN’s new School of Law that kicked off this semester. The AUN law programme uniquely offers concentrations in Humanitarian, Gender and Environmental Laws.
Others who participated in the ceremony were university graduates pursuing various postgraduate programmes, among who were 18 winners of the 67 competitive AUN scholarships on offer, while several intakes were transferring from other universities in Ghana, Lebanon, Egypt, the United States and some European countries.
Apart from the novelty of admitting its first class of law students, the university admitted the largest number of undergraduates in a semester in the past three years, signaling a return to pre-insurgency admission figures, even as commercial and other activities peak in Yola and other parts of Adamawa State.
Addressing the convocation which held at the Commencement Hall, the AUN President, Margee Ensign announced that the type of education the new students will receive at the university will ensure that students become leaders in their chosen fields. “This kind of education will train you to look at problems from varying perspectives.”
She reminded them that they are being trained to be leaders of the continent who, upon graduation, will be ready to solve the challenges that confront them, their community, their country, and their continent.
“All universities identify new problems, come up with new ideas. They discover new truths and some change society. At AUN, Africa’s first development university, this is what we are trying to accomplish.”
Ensign added that whether those problems are poverty, literacy, inequality, injustice, or violence, by engaging students in the real world, AUN students deal with such problems during their time at the university, asking questions about them and finding solutions that improve the lives of their fellow human beings.
“We not only provide you with a different sort of education, we provide you with the intellectual tools to become the future leaders of Africa.” As part of the ceremony, the president took the entire audience through the AUN pledge of absolute integrity.