American University of Nigeria
|American University of Nigeria|
|Location||Yola, Adamawa, Nigeria|
The American University of Nigeria opened its doors to its first students in 2005. Founded by the former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, it is located in north-eastern Nigeria in Yola, the state capital of Adamawa state, the vice president’s home town. Having benefited from the U.S. system of instruction as a young man, Abubakar sought to make this style of education — emphasizing critical thinking, small classes, student participation, problem-solving, a US-style general education program, and an American-trained faculty — available to all qualified young people of Nigeria and, increasingly, to the rest of the world.
Originally named the ABTI American University of Nigeria, the name was simplified to American University of Nigeria following discussions with American University in Washington, D.C. (which AUN exchanges students with). This puts it in conformity with practices of other American Universities outside of the United States, such as the American University of Beirut and the American University of Paris. AUN is the only such institution of higher learning in sub-Saharan Africa.
There have been three presidents in the first years of AUN’s development: Dr. David Huwiler, Dr. Michael Smith, and the current president, Dr. Margee Ensign. Dr. Ensign came to the post having served as dean of the School of International Studies at the University of the Pacific, where she was also the associate provost.
Facilities and programs
AUN is a residential campus situated on 500 hectares. It is home to approximately 1,400 undergraduate students and 87 faculty members. It is a wireless campus, the first in Nigeria: All students are supplied with a laptop computer upon entry.
The university consists of three schools: Arts and Sciences, Business and Entrepreneurship, and Information Technology and Communications. The following majors are available.
In the School of Arts and Sciences
- Natural and Environmental Science
- Petroleum Chemistry (with Engineering option)
- International and Comparative Politics
- English Language and Literature
In the School of Business and Entrepreneurship
- Business Administration with specialties in Accounting; Business Economics; Entrepreneurship; Finance; Management; Marketing)
In the School of Information Technology and Communications
- Software Engineering
- Computer Science
- Information Systems/Management Information Systems
- Communications (Telecommunications and Wireless Technology; Communication and Multimedia)
Governance and mission
AUN boasts a globally distinguished Board of Trustees chaired by one of Nigeria’s foremost business leaders Alhaji Ahmed Joda. Other members of the Board include Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa; Dr. John Campbell, former American ambassador to Nigeria; Dr. Bamanga Tukur, president of the African Business Roundtable; Dr. Lou Goodman, dean of the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC; Mr. Gabrielle Volpi, managing director of Intels Oilfield, Port-Harcourt in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria; Mr. Akin Kekere-Ekun former managing director of Habib Nigeria Bank; Mr. Jackie Chanrai of the United Kingdom; Sir Marrack Goulding, former under-secretary-general for Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations; Dr. Jamila Abubkar; Alhaji Adamu Abubakar; Chief (Dr.) Mike Adenuga; Prof. Patrick Utomi; Dr. Peter Lewis; Mr. Peter Okocha; Dr. Enyantu Ifenne; Prof. Samuel Aleyideino; and Alhaji Tajudeen Dantata, CEO of The Dantata Organization, Ltd.
Archbishop Tutu was the commencement speaker at AUN’s first graduation in May 2009.
From its recruitment packet, AUN describes its mission this way:
“The American University of Nigeria expects to train the future leaders of West Africa and to serve as an agent of economic development throughout the region. The University is also committed to providing the skills and the leadership essential to solving the continent’s pressing social and economic problems.”