On 30 November 2012, a special Recognition of Achievement ceremony was held at AIMS South Africa for the January 2012 intake for the AIMS Postgraduate Diploma in Mathematical Sciences. Nine South African students received their certificates of recognition and will graduate from the partner universities that they are registered at.
Since opening in 2003, AIMS has been challenged to attract South African students to enrol for the Postgraduate Diploma, which runs from August to June the following year. This academic timetable is followed by most Africa countries. In 2011 a decision was taken to start a second stream of the Postgraduate Diploma running from January to November and overlapping with the activities of the other stream as far as possible.
The 9 South African graduates now join our AIMS alumni group which brings the total number of graduates to 421 (including 129 women), from 32 different African countries, since the Institute was opened in 2003.
AIMS Director, Professor Barry Green welcomed everyone to the ceremony, “It is amazing to look back over the last 10 years to see what we have achieved. The challenge was to make AIMS an asset not just for the continent but for South Africa as well. We wanted to attract South African students and are pleased that this group have succeeded and we are celebrating this success with them.”
The guest speaker was Ms Nasima Badsha, Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Higher Education Consortium. Ms Badsha has been a supporter of AIMS since its inception when she heard about it from Neil Turok who approached the Department of Education for funding. She went on to say that AIMS is an example of a collaboration which really does work and it has been sustained, when regional projects can be quite challenging. With graduates from 32 African countries, “AIMS gives substance to building an alumni network across Africa and we cannot help but be impressed with the actual implementation. Those graduating today come from all corners of South Africa and I believe that they have enjoyed the privilege of meeting and studying with students from all corners of Africa.”
She encouraged students to consider furthering their studies and becoming academics to increase the numbers of black people and women in research, or to consider careers in teaching.
Ms Raabia Walljee gave the student address, “AIMS has been a great experience. It was a challenge as we were the first group of South Africans but human nature allows us to adapt to our environment. On behalf of my fellow students I would like to thank Prof Barry Green, the academic and administrative staff for making us feel so welcome and capable of achieving this. I hope the programme will continue to be a success for the future of the continent.”