Thursday, 23 August 2012
EUROPEAN UNION AMBASSADOR SELECTED AS 26TH BOARD OF TRUSTEE MEMBER OF AMERICAN UNIVERSITY NIGERIA
Ambassador David Macrae, the European Union Ambassador in Nigeria, is the 26th member of the AUN Board.
In a letter to AUN President Margee Ensign, the Ambassador said all through his long career in developing countries, particularly in Africa, he was interested in contributing toward the development of education, especially as it concerns Africa’s foremost Development University (AUN).
He said, “AUN incarnates the ideal of providing the bright youth of Africa the means of solving the issues Africa needs to solve for herself to grow into a continent of lasting peace and prosperity. I am deeply honored to have the privilege of joining the AUN Board and being part of this exciting and unparalleled adventure."
Macrae shared some of his thoughts and interest in the AUN project. He said during the first visit to campus, the brightness and enthusiasm of AUN students struck him during the interaction with them. “Their clear interest and readiness to communicate was what inspired me the most,’’ he said.
The EU Ambassador continued: “AUN offers the best of both worlds: a piece of America on Nigerian soil--a properly resourced and well administered University which is deeply involved with the local community. Study at home rather than abroad offers obvious benefits: It is cheaper and more cost-effective to bring the teachers to the students than the reverse.”
Dr. Macrae said the study-in-Nigeria option was now preferable, especially with parents and families who will save time and cost of international travel. “The important thing is to maintain standards. The AUN project shows that it is possible to do this - thus offering the best of both worlds.”
AUN, he said, had impressed him with the kind of courses available to African students intending to take up important positions in the modern world. The role played in equipping young people for leadership roles, he said, was very important in the present-day Africa. He said this with particular reference to courses taught in Entrepreneurship and IT, as well as in Ethics.
He described the AUN Study Abroad Program as an open door to opportunities through excellent links, and observed that with the American University network and international academic community at large AUN students have now become aware of the overseas opportunities for further study.
Study at AUN, he said, is an ideal platform from which students can take advantage of other available opportunities to attain an even higher level in the areas of study.
The new AUN Trustee said AUN’s scholarship program, which served as an outreach to students from poorer backgrounds, was cheering. This, he said, showed “AUN is not only about educating children from rich families.”
He commended the role of the management in ensuring that scholarships were available to even some of the brightest students from poor homes. He said these opportunities will go a long way to enrich the quality of student life on campus.