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Pan African U to enrol over 500 postgraduates

The African Union Commission’s Pan African University, which offers postgraduate programs to students on scholarship, is admitting close to 500 students from this November, the highest enrolment since it launched four years ago.

Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, one of the locations of the Pan African University.Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (pictured) is the location of the PAU Institute for Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation. Photo: wikicommons/Stephen Wanjau.

The PAU enrols students purely on scholarship basis, in a bid to boost capacity in African academia

A diverse selection of students from more than 40 different nationalities across the continent will join one of the PAU’s four operational institutes in Kenya, Algeria, Nigeria and Cameroon. Students will pursue master’s and doctorate degrees in various fields of specialisation – mainly in the sciences.

The thematic institutes are Kenya’s Institute for Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI), based at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and the Institute for Life and Earth Sciences, University of Ibadan (PAULESI), in Nigeria.

“The incoming students are spread across 38 different member states of the African Union”

The Institute for Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences University of Younde (PAUGHSS), in Cameroon, and the Institute for Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) at the University of Tlemcen, in Algeria make up the PAU.

The PAU issued a call for applications for students interested in pursuing various master’s and doctorate programs in May this year, attracting hundreds of applications from across the continent.

Set up in 2012, the PAU enrols students purely on scholarship basis, in a bid to boost capacity in African academia both from the public and private sector while cutting down on brain drain from the continent.

Established as a continental university of excellence, it offers free tuition, a living stipend, travel and medical allowances and meets research costs for students.

Kenya-based PAUSTI and Nigeria-based PAULESI, have published lists of successful applicants, while the other two institutes are expected to publish names of shortlisted students later this month.

Successful applicants are expected to join their respective institutions from November 2 according to PAUSTI director, Gabriel Magoma.

“A total of 164 students will be reporting to PAUSTI later this year,” he told The PIE News. “The incoming students are spread across 38 different member states of the African Union.”

Just over 100 will undertake master’s programs while 62 will study PhD programs, he added.

Since 2012, two batches of MSc students – 97 in total from 16 different member states of the AU – have graduated from PAUSTI, but this year’s intake is the largest so far, he said.

Nigeria’s PAULESI, meanwhile, will enrol 134 students from nearly 30 different African nationalities – the majority coming from Nigeria and western Africa.

At present, PAU offers training programs in 37 fields of specialisation, including 22 master’s and 15 PhDs. Seven new programs of study will be launched during the 2017/18 academic year, including six master’s programs and one PhD, according to PAU rector, Kassa Belay.

And the Cape Peninsula University of Technology has been put forward by the government of South Africa to host the Space Sciences Program, but it’s yet to commence admitting students and teaching, according to Belay.

“The Cape Peninsula University of Technology has been proposed by the government of South Africa to be the coordinator of the Space Sciences Program,” he confirmed. “There will be a consortium of seven other South African universities working in different areas of Space Sciences.”

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