#Article (Archive)

American Int’l University clocks one, offers new programs

Jan 23, 2012, 1:43 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

American International University West Africa (AIU), a private medical university in The Gambia, clocked one year in operation January this year.

According to officials of the AIU, the university will this year introduce two new programs in medical and health professional fields.

The two additional programs will bring the total number of the university’s major study programs to eight.

The AIU Health Science Centre consists of 5 colleges, the College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, College of Pharmacy, College of Nursing and College of Health Professionals.

“AIU Health Science Centre colleges provide medical and health programs based on curricula recommended by the respective US professional councils for accreditation,” the president of the AIU, Dinesh Shukla, said recently at a brief orientation ceremony for a new batch of students from nine different countries in Africa and beyond.

“Cost-effective and World-Class medical education is available to qualified and motivated students directly after High School. This year the university will start clinical, biological and micro-biology lab which will be made available even to the local people to get work done.”

He said the Gambia government has also agreed to participate in the training of professionals in medicine, dentistry and pharmacy as well as allied health sciences, which include nurses, laboratory technicians, bio-medical engineering, radiology and public health.

According to him, in just a year’s operation they have achieved something great.  After starting with a handful of students, last year, this year more than 100 students from nine different countries have joined the university, he said, adding: “We have recruited more facility to cater for our students.

“When we started we have three programs - medical, dental and pharmacy; we realised that there was need for the establishment of more programs in different heath fields to cater for more capacity building in the country. We started nursing program with specialization in areas like anaesthetics, psychiatric and others.”

Dr Shukla remarked: “AIU Health Science Center is founded with a vision to provide a well rounded education to prepare students to excel in the field of Health Sciences.

“Located in the beautiful country of The Gambia in West Africa, AIU Health Science Center fosters innovation, professional excellence, and service. AIU Health Science Center has five colleges: College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, College of Pharmacy, College of Nursing and College of Health Professionals. In addition to the basic education in the classroom setting, students will have the opportunity to learn through interacting with various colleges, hospital departments and patients.”

According to the president of the AIU, his university Health Science Center is committed to creating a diverse student body to promote an international camaraderie among students saying that the academic, social, and professional advancement of their students are among the AIU Health Science Center’s primary goals.

Dilating on the entry to the university, Dr Shukla added: “Admission to the five colleges is open to students who have successfully completed High School. The clinical experience is imparted at various medical institutions and clinics in The Gambia.”

“We have one additional program, which is health professional program which is training of students in medical laboratory technicians, clinical technicians, microbiology, and haematology. We are working on putting up different programs to meet the needs of health professionals required to provide the right services to the people.”

“One year we have achieved not only the growth of students and faculty but the growth of different programs and fields,” he also said, noting: “This year we will be building our new campus to house different faculties to begin in May or June depending on when government allocate the land.”

The AIU offers curricula patterned after the US programs and is designed to meet the licensing requirements in the United States of America and other countries.  The AIU Health Science Center Colleges are seeking students who are eager to learn, committed to service, and interested in studying with an international perspective.”

“Traditional education is being imparted by professor being there teaching and talking; technology has changed a lot with that and all education institutions are slowly changing over, instead of adopting one method of teaching by traditional professor.”

Addressing the students at the ceremony, Hon. Esther John Audu, Nigerian High Commissioner to The Gambia, whose country also have students at the AIU, said the university can be measured up with any other universities in the US or any other places in the world as well as urged the students to be serious with their education.

“The environment is conducive, make the best use of the facilities at your disposal. The ball is in your court; you have everything you need. Since you are from different countries, know why you here and do not go back empty, you will be trained as professionals,” she said.

Dr Adebola T. Olayinka, lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University and Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, whose daughter is offering degree at the AIU and present at the orientation, spoke on behalf of parents and urged the students to be focused and concentrate on their studies.