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American International University opens in Gambia

Feb 1, 2011, 12:51 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Described by many as another milestone in the history of higher education in The Gambia, officials of the American International University (AIU) West Africa have announced the start of the university's operations in The Gambia.

The AIU has started with the enrolment of students from The Gambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal Saudi Arabia, Chad, Lesotho, Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia, among others.

Officials of the University yesterday convened a press briefing to inform Gambians and non Gambians in the country about the university's opening in the West African country.

American International University West Africa is a private university and has a School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy located in The Gambia and Guinea.

It is said to be the first university in Africa to provide programs based on a curriculum modeled after major professional schools in the United States.

The press conference coincided with the enrolment and admission of the first batch of students, who were also present at the well-attended ceremony, which brought together prominent educationists and members of public and private institutions in the country.

Addressing the convergence, the President of AIU West Africa, Dinesh Shukla, announced that the University has started operations in The Gambia with the enrolment and admission of students from The Gambia and other parts of the world.

"The students, the lecturers and faculty are what makes an institution, today is the beginning of another long journey. Students have challenges ahead," he said.

According to the AIU President, their mission and vision is clear. The AIU will fulfill its mission by emphasizing on rigorous fundamentals while stimulating innovations as they educate, in a dynamic learning environment, physicians, dentists, pharmacists, scientists, and other health professionals to become leaders in their fields and contribute to the advancement of the medical sciences through discovery, research, and scholarship.

He noted that their vision is to train, in the spirit of collegiality and with a standard of excellence, outstanding clinicians in medicine and science, adding that the government of the Gambia has approved the AIU to be the first private university in the country.

"The university will endeavour to provide you with the best professionals to take care of your social responsibilities," he said, while urging the students to make The Gambia and the entire continent proud.

"Be focused and serious with studies," he further advised the students.

Shukla assured the gathering that the university will offer the American system of learning, which he believes is of a high quality and standard.

He revealed that students will pay between US$18,000 - $21,000 a year including tuition fees, books, and feeding, among others.

After completion, he went on, students will be fully certified and degrees awarded to them just like in any US universities.

He also informed the gathering of his university’s intention to provide free medical care to people and communities twice a week, as its contributions towards the development of health in the country.

On the issue of partnership with the University of The Gambia, Shukla spoke of a synergized  relationship with the UTG.