September 9, 2019
This week brought new life to campus, as Ashesi welcomed a record-breaking 331 new students to the university community. Representing over 120 high schools from across 16 countries, the students bring perspectives from across North, South, East, West and Central Africa. With over 1,600 applications from 34 countries, and a 75.2% yield, the Class of 2023 reflects an increasing desire of students to join the Ashesi community.
Applications increased by approximately 8% from last year, with nearly one-third of all applicants looking to join Ashesi’s Engineering program. A combined 62% of admitted students will be studying in Engineering, Computer Science and Management Information Systems (Ashesi’s STEM majors), with 38% studying Business Administration. In keeping with previous years also, half of the class are women.
From the University Executive Team and faculty leadership to student government leaders and alumni, many across the Ashesi community have helped welcome the Class in their first days on campus. Parents of new students also participated in welcome activities during move-in week, including a Parents Day event that provided opportunities to learn about resources for students at Ashesi.
Adding to Ashesi’s Excellence
Addressing the Class at their formal matriculation ceremony, Ashesi President Patrick Awuah encouraged the Class to take personal initiative and responsibility during their time on campus. Marking 20 years since he first started the Ashesi University Foundation, Patrick shared the story of the Little Red Hen with students; asking them to be prepared to take initiatives even if they had little support for it.
“What are you going to do to add to Ashesi’s excellence?”, he asked the Class, as he shared stories of Ashesi’s journey. “What are you going to do to make Ashesi a more excellent institution, a more excellent community? This question has remained relevant and will always be relevant. Years ago, when we decided to start Ashesi, a lot of people declined the invitation to join us. And that was ok. But there was a small group that said we will. And they helped build this institution. Over time many others have joined – students, faculty, staff, donors, a very wide range of people. And all of them have added to the excellence of this institution in some way. You are here today because we recognize your potential, and we see the great things you are going to do. Remember this question throughout your four years here. What am I going to do to add to Ashesi’s excellence?”
Unlearn, and Embrace New Things
“The secret of Ashesi is not in the buildings and our lovely scenery,” Dean of Students Abdul Mahdi shared with the Class. “What Ashesi is and will be, is determined by the effort that you and I, and everyone here make to support the mission of transforming Africa. We have to be open-minded enough to know that we do not know everything, and have the humility to always keep learning. We need to be ready to also unlearn bad habits, soak in and re-learn the new things the Ashesi community has to offer.”
“Today you have joined this company of scholars as you too enter your names into the university’s register,” added Provost Angela Owusu Ansah. “You’re about to begin a new chapter in your life; one marked by independence and critical engagement of the mind. What will you do with it? What will you make of this experience and opportunity? How will you grow intellectually and socially? What will you contribute to this academic community, and what will you take from it? The next time you assemble like this, it will be your Commencement. On that day, you’ll be sent out into the world to put out there everything that Ashesi gave you, or that you gave it. You’re so welcome to Ashesi, and we are so happy you are here. We look forward to traveling in the next years with you.”
“We understand how it is like to be new here; the excitement, the jitters, and the questions,” shared Chrisroper Obiorah, President of the Student Council. “Fortunately for you, this is an environment filled with support, opportunities, and resources to help you make the most of your Ashesi experience. Above all, you will form great relationships; relationships that will extend beyond school and great minds to help you build your businesses in the years to come. Today you are surrounded with about three hundred of your peers, these are the men and women you will grow with spiritually, personally, emotionally, socially, and academically over the next years. Cherish the relationships you make here on campus as well as the time you spend in making them. These memories will be something you will look back on and smile.”
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