#2015atAshesi: A University On The Move
It’s been four years since Ashesi transitioned to its permanent campus in Berekuso, and since that time we have made steady progress towards strengthening our impact. The Class of 2015’s graduation marked a new chapter for Ashesi, as it was the first class to have a complete four-year student experience on our new campus.
As we count down to the end of 2015, here’s a quick summary of some of the major milestones we hit this year, and the progress made towards educating a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa.
A new Engineering major and a curriculum redesign focused on entrepreneurship
Developed over two-and-a-half years, Ashesi’s Engineering curriculum was approved by Ghana’s Accreditation Board in July of 2015. The new Engineering programme, with majors in Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic, and Computer Engineering, are the biggest additions to Ashesi’s academic programmes since 2005. MIT Sloan Fellow, Dr. Fred McBagonluri, also joined Ashesi to serve as Dean for the new Engineering Programme.
Led by the Vice-President of Ghana, H.E Amissah-Arthur, the new programme was launched in October of this year. Present at the launch were members of the Ashesi community, including donors, alumni and parents, whose work and support made the milestone possible.
Again this year, Ashesi redesigned its curriculum to foster more creativity and entrepreneurship among students. New classes in Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship were introduced for all students starting from the Class of 2019, a more intentional approach to teaching students how to start and scale up their ideas into successful businesses.
Expanding Ashesi’s infrastructure
This year, we completed construction of Ashesi’s new academic facility, the Robert E. and Dorothy J. King Engineering Building, which houses classrooms, labs and offices for Ashesi’s new Engineering prorgramme. We also completed construction for new student dorms on campus, a necessary step as student intake increases, with plans to continue developing housing facilities on campus. The dorms, completed in August of this year, won a Ghana Construction Educational Facility award in in November.
Increasing access to scholarships and opportunities for students
Thanks to remarkable support from donors and partners all over Africa and the world, a record number of students are now receiving scholarships at Ashesi. Currently, 55% of students are on scholarships. New partnerships also helped bring new opportunities for students to gain real-world skills and learning.
In July, The Africa-America Institute (AAI) named Ashesi as one of three pioneer partner universities for its Future Leaders Legacy Fund, which provides scholarships to bright but under-resourced African students to attend “top-performing African Universities and colleges.” Again in July, Old Mutual Emerging Markets (part of Old Mutual PLC), through its subsidiary Old Mutual Ghana, signed a partnership with Ashesi to provide approximately GHC300,000 in scholarship funding to students. Under the partnership, Old Mutual is helping fund the tuition costs for selected students at Ashesi, and providing skills training through internships with the organisation.
In June, the Ford Foundation also provided a $94,000 grant to support student-led social entrepreneurship projects at Ashesi. The two-year Fund for Service to Children and Youth at Ashesi, will support student-centered projects aimed at making a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children and youth in Ghana, and will seek to increase the impact of community service at Ashesi.
In November, the Managing Director of Barclays Ghana, Patience Akyianu, announced that the bank would recruit ten students from Ashesi each year to work as interns in various roles. The announcement was part of a session of career experience discussions led by senior management team members, which Barclays partnered with Ashesi to host on campus.
Students also got to engage with various global learning opportunities this year, as our partnerships continue to get stronger. Five students were selected to become the first students from Africa to join the Melton Foundation Fellows programme, traveling to Shanghai to provide African perspectives to discussions on global citizenship. Four studentsalso traveled to Morocco to share ideas on African innovation, at the Innovation Prize for Africa event in May.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) also selected ten Ashesi students to participate in its 2015 summer internship programme in London — a record high. The bank has currently recruited some six students from its internship programmes as full-time employees. Goldman Sachs also recruited four students to join its internship programme in London this year, and now has two full-time recruits from Ashesi.
Strengthening local partnerships & engagement
All through this year, the Ashesi community has made a stronger push to engage local stakeholders. In January, we signed a partnership with General Electric Ghana (GE) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to build capacity for Ghana’s young Oil and Gas industry. GE, which provided currciulum input for Ashesi’s new Engineering programme, committed $3.5 million to the partnership.
In March, we signed an affiliation partnership with the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) for Ashesi’s new Engineering programme. In a short ceremony held at the UMaT campus in Tarkwa, the two universities signed an affiliation agreement that will see UMaT serve as a mentor for Ashesi’s Mechanical, Electrical and Computer Engineering programmes.
In November, Ashesi hosted the 2015 African Universities Day in partnership with the Association of African Universities. This year’s celebration was on the theme, “Internationalization of Higher Education.” Students, staff and faculty from universities across Ghana participated in celebrating the event, and discussed the role of African universities in global education.
Growing recognition of Ashesi’s work
In June of 2015, Ashesi was accepted into the Association of American Colleges & Universities, a leading organisation for liberal arts universities around the world committed to strengthening global education. Later this year, Ashesi was also accepted into the Global Liberal Arts Alliance, an international, multilateral group of liberal arts institutions with the goal of supporting excellence and cooperation in liberal arts education across different countries.
In September, Ashesi President Patrick Awuah was named one of twenty-four MacArthur Foundation 2015 Fellowship recipients, for his work in education in Africa. The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.
Stay engaged with all the highlights from our incredible year, and share your favourite as well, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag, #2015atAshesi.