President of the American University of Nigeria, Dr. DeWayne Frazier, was among high-level education administrators and global thought leaders at this year's Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Forum in Pretoria, South Africa, where Africa's progress map in education was reviewed.
President Frazier's contribution focused on Developing and Enhancing Quality Education in Africa. Specifically, President Frazier highlighted some of the historic steps AUN took to actualize the vision of the Founder and former Nigeria's Vice President, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, GCON.
President Frazier reminded the august gathering that such courageous decisions taken by the American University of Nigeria to expand and secure the learning space to include several excluded vulnerable groups were inspired by its mission as a Development University committed to lending academic and research resources to solving local problems.
Specifically, President Frazier highlighted the boldness of the President of AUN in seeking out and bringing the Chibok Girls to the University and working to provide them with scholarships from the AUN Founder, the Robert Smith Foundation, and later the Federal Government of Nigeria so they can receive good quality education and psychological healing.
The Community Service model, the President said, is at the core of the AUN experience and pointed out its uniqueness as a value addition educational institutions need to imbibe for Africa's rapid transformation.
"AUN works with organizations like the WHO, UNESCO, USAID and the United Nations Population fund to involve our students in programs to reach the people of the region. It is community service at a level that I have never experienced in my 25 years in American Higher Education, and I get to be a part of a solution because one man had a dream that a university in his home state of Adamawa, could have an impact on his country and world", the President told the audience.
President DeWayne Frazier discussed his ideas around seven relevant and interconnected sub-fields to realize quality education in Africa. These sub-fields include infrastructures and Resources, Government Policies and Financial Investment, Fitting curricula to the needs of the job market, Quality student services, and the enhancement of curriculum in educational services. The others are access to technology, higher education, and institutional collaboration across the global community.
"Today, AUN feeds street children, teach them literacy and our students are involved in this program coined Feed and Read. Then there is our program where we work with women in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps that we teach how to make handicrafts and how to start micro businesses so they get a hand up, not simply a hand out. This my friends is the education for the 21st century in our continent of Africa", the President said.
Please use this link to read the President's full address to the THE Forum.