Four of the 24 Chibok girls who escaped from Boko Haram in 2014 and came to the American University of Nigeria 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.
Four of them have now passed their West African School Certificate (WASC) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exams, with one scoring over 300 marks in the JAMB exams, authorities said.
The university declined to disclose the identities of the students when contacted by PREMIUM TIMES, saying doing so would rob the girls of the anonymity they need to operate freely on campus
Also among the new students were those accepted from assorted 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 took part in the ceremony were university graduates pursuing various postgraduate programmes; among whom were18 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 her first class of law students, the American University of Nigeria 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 inside the Commencement Hall, President Margee Ensign announced that the type of education the new students will receive at AUN will ensure that students become leaders in their chosen fields.
“This kind of education will train you to look at problems from varying perspectives.”
President Ensign reminded them that they are being trained to be the 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.”
Whether those problems are poverty, literacy, inequality, injustice, or violence, President Ensign continued, by engaging students in the real world, AUN students deal with such problems during their time at 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.” The President afterwards took the entire audience through the AUN pledge of absolute integrity.