Building an African Technical University from the Ground Up

Saturday, February 13, 2016: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Coolidge (Marriott Wardman Park)
Patrick Awuah, Ashesi University College, Accra, Ghana
Patrick Awuah will share his story of how he founded Ashesi University College, a private, non-profit liberal arts university located in Ghana, West Africa. The mission of Ashesi University is to educate a new generation of ethical and entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within its students the critical thinking skills, the concern for others and the courage it will take to transform their continent.

Ashesi offers a four-year bachelors programme grounded in a liberal core curriculum, featuring majors in Business Administration, Management Information Systems, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Clearly, Ashesi has a strong focus on technology and engineering. Yet, the university speaks strongly about its core curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences, and describes that core curriculum as central to its mission. This paper explains the reason for this emphasis, describes outcomes of this approach, and shares perspectives on why and how other African institutions might incorporate this holistic approach into their educational offerings.