On 20 June 2012, a special graduation ceremony was held in Muizenberg Pavilion for the August 2011 intake of AIMS-South Africa Postgraduate Diploma in Mathematical Sciences. 52 students graduated bringing the total number of AIMS graduates to 412 (including 124 women), from 32 different African countries, since the institute was opened in 2003.
The ceremony commenced with an Academic Procession from AIMS in Melrose Road.
The guest speaker was the new Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Mduduzi Comfort Manana. He said in his speech, “The Department of Higher Education supports and recognises AIMS’ initiatives. AIMS’ is a good example of a different model that contributes towards our goals of creating a skilled and capable workforce. I encourage all the graduates to do their part in contributing to Africa’s development with the skills they have learned at AIMS.”
Another guest speaker was Prof Ben Turok, Trustee of AIMS and a Member of Parliament, ” I have attended nearly all the graduations since the foundation of AIMS and I am moved by this wonderful experiment on the continent. AIMS’ is the nucleus of a new type of institution in Africa. AIMS offers undergraduate and graduate training, a research centre and an outreach programme for teachers, this is the first of its kind in Africa. This new model of teaching is all happening with minimal government funding and it is remarkably free for students. It is innovative rather than conventional and this is what Africa needs. The African Union and the African Development Bank are all seeking for the continent to become something new which will need innovative scientists and mathematicians.”
AIMS Director, Prof Barry Green, also noted that in this past year 15 South African academics from local and international universities along with 18 international lecturers from the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Israel and Kenya have taught at AIMS. “AIMS is a South African and African possession not just a local entity.”
The ceremony was officiated by Prof Julian Smith, Vice Rector (Community Interaction and Personnel) University of Stellenbosch, Prof Michael Davies-Coleman, Dean of Natural Sciences, University of the Western Cape, and Dr Max Price, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town.
In the ceremony AIMS scholarships were awarded to recognise outstanding students. Ms Doaa El-Sakout, received the Stephan Hawking Scholarship, Mr Assionvi Hove Kouevi, received the Martin Rees Scholarship, Ms Morenikeji Deborah Akinlotan received the Paul G Allen Scholarship, Mr Collins Amburo Agyingi and Mr Tesfalem Abate Tegegn, both received a Victor Rothschild Scholarship.