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Aga Khan Academy, a Gateway For Students to Top Global Universities 2015-06-18

Thursday, 2015, June 18
Mawlana Hazar Imam visits Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad 2015-04-10

Coastweek-- The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa, (AKA, Mombasa) which opened just 10 years ago as the first in a global network of academies, has emerged as a gateway for East African students to the world’s top universities, with two thirds of the class of 2015 having been accepted to leading global institutions.

Of the 2015 graduates, a third have been accepted by the world’s Top 100 universities, as ranked by the 2014 Shanghai ranking system.

The acceptances are from universities that include the University of California, both Berkeley and Los Angeles (UCLA); Cornell University; Kings College and Imperial College, both within the University of London; McGill University; Michigan State University; the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia, among many others in the world’s Top 100.

This success rate comes against the backdrop of declining numbers of Kenyan students gaining access to universities in the UK and USA, where 69 per cent of the Academy’s graduates are now due to study, the majority of them in universities in the world’s top 500.

Overall, British universities recorded an 8.2 per cent decline in the enrollment of Kenyan students in 2012, while the enrollment of Kenyan students in American universities took a 68 per cent plunge the year previously, according to data on study visas issued by the American Embassy and British High Commission in Nairobi.

The Academy’s unusual success in giving students the ability to access the world’s leading universities follows from its vision of providing a rigorous, well-rounded education that connects students with their local environment and culminates in a globally-recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.

The students come from diverse backgrounds, with top calibre fee-paying students studying alongside a substantial proportion of talented Kenyans from poorer backgrounds who receive financial aid to support their education at the Academy.

“The Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa offers talented students of all backgrounds a high-calibre education that is both internationally competitive and strongly linked to the local context.

“Our programme develops the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills vital for a rapidly globalizing world.

“These students over time will provide a pool of talent for future leadership in the East African region, across all disciplines,” said Salim Bhatia, the director of the Aga Khan Academies.

The Academy’s curriculum is based on the programmes of the IB, which currently works with nearly 3,500 schools in 141 countries across the globe, offering a balanced educational programme that includes arts, sciences and social science as well as unique curriculum elements that prepare students for further study and for leadership.

“Most of this year’s AKA, Mombasa graduates received at least three offers each from the world’s leading universities, and many of them have also been granted scholarships,” said the acting head of AKA, Mombasa, Mr. Simon Otieno.

“It is evident that these positive admission trends will in the long run help Kenya in developing a sustainable pool of highly trained and competitive human resource capital that will positively contribute to making Kenya a knowledge-based economy while enhancing economic development of the country, hence providing support for Vision 2030,” said Mr. Otieno.

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