The American University of Nigeria has dismissed as inaccurate a story in the Daily Trust and Daily Newswatch alleging that expatriates are leaving the University because of the state of emergency imposed on Adamawa State.
According to AUN’s President Margee Ensign, “Governor Murtala Nyako’s comments in the story are completely inaccurate. Not only are we running our regular summer school with very high attendance, no faculty member or staff has left AUN because of the ‘state of emergency.’
In fact, over 4,000 people–including the Ambassadors of the United States, the European Union, Rwanda and Ireland–attended our 5th commencement ceremony on May 11th, three days before the state of emergency was announced. We are also continuing our important development work in the community in literacy, IT and with the Adamawa Peacemakers Initiative that the University founded in January 2012.”
AUN’s 5th Commencement ceremony attracted over 4,000 guests, which included four globally distinguished diplomats and an accomplished American journalist, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who served as Commencement Speaker. The diplomats included: US Ambassador Terrence McCulley, EU Ambassador David Macrae, Irish Ambassador Patrick Fay, and High Commissioner Joseph Habineza of Rwanda whose country has 17 scholarship students at AUN.
If there were any security concerns in Yola, none of these VIPs would have ventured to come. The graduation activity and the beginning of summer break naturally increased movements in and out of Yola airport. Several days later, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Adamawa and two other northeast states. It took all of Adamawa residents by surprise because the state is the safest in the north east region. Despite the emergency rule, Yola has been orderly, calm, and peaceful.
AUN’s summer sessions began on May 16th and a very high percentage of students have returned for summer classes. As usual, the two summer semesters are being facilitated by AUN’s globally diverse faculty drawn from US, UK, Singapore, India, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, Canada, Kenya, and more. This summer enrollment is approximately the same percentage that has attended previous summers. To date, no faculty members have stated they are not retuning because of the state of emergency. Those who are not teaching in summer have naturally gone on their normal vacations until Summer 2 which starts in July or the fall 2013 semester.
AUN has been in touch with many parents. Here is a response from one of them: “Your institution is a beacon of hope and a shining path for both private and public universities in Nigeria. Thank you for communicating with us.”
It’s pertinent to mention here that the dusk-to-dawn curfew is effective in Yola, as elsewhere in the region, but does not threaten the university community or any campus learning and or extra-curricular activities. As a matter of fact, many have been coming to AUN to process admissions, having received their children’s/wards’ UTME results.
Encouraging statistics from the Office of Admissions reveal that applications for admission into AUN for the upcoming semester have more than doubled, compared to the previous years, and we are still receiving very good applications. Mr. Linus Ikyurav, the Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Recruitment, who broke this news, reminded prospects that AUN still accepts zero fees for applications to enroll for its undergraduate programs.