Conceived by Africans across the continent and from the diaspora, with major support from the World Bank Institute (WBI), AUST was established in 2007 as a regional initiative led by the Nelson Mandela Institution (NMI, Inc.). NMI’s goal was and remains the creation of world class research and advanced training institutes in relevant scientific and technological disciplines which would serve as regional resources and centres of excellence in sub-Saharan Africa. The Secretariat is currently hosted in Nigeria but the NMI centres are spread evenly across the continent, in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and South Africa. They draw students from the whole sub-continent and have linkages to elite international technical institutions.

AUST represents a new way of doing things in the higher education sector in Africa. It  values its emphasis on academic excellence, autonomy and transparency with independence from political interference as part of its hallmark, yet working in strong partnership with government. It has strong industry links, a strong corporate governance structure, and focuses on producing men and women with the entrepreneurial flair and compassionate spirit to help transform local communities and improve the human condition across the African continent.

The African University of Science and Technology (AUST) is a post-graduate university which is part of a university system concept developed by the Nelson Mandela Institution (NMI) with the aim of bringing the highest level of technical education and research facilities to the continent of Africa. AUST represents a global effort to foster Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth and development through the promotion of excellence in science and engineering and their applications. The ultimate vision of NMI is to develop four African institutions of science and technology across Sub-Saharan Africa — one each in the north, south, east, and west of the continent. AUST was patterned on the decentralized model that has been successfully implemented by the IIT-Bombay. It currently offers programs in five major disciplinary areas, namely, Computer Science and Management of Information Technology, Material Science and Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Pure and Applied Mathematics and with effect from the beginning of 2019, will also offer programs in Space and Aerospace Sciences and Engineering as well as its first foray into applied Social Sciences with Master’s degree in Public Administration and Public Policy. Working with a small corps of resident faculty, it accomplishes its high quality teaching and research by inviting highly accomplished and reputed professors from universities and research institutions across the globe, to participate in face-to-face teaching and supervision of student research. The Visiting Professors include many Africans working in the diaspora.

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