2022 was a significant year for Ashesi. Over the past twelve months we established the guiding framework for our next decade, deepened research and innovation, and doubled down on the experiences that have shaped the university community. The year marked our 20th anniversary and also saw a full return to campus after two years of virtual learning. Here is a look at some of the stories we will remember from 2022. Share yours with us online using the hashtags #2022atAshesi and #atAshesi.
Ashesi's community marks two decades of impact
In March, our community celebrated 20 years since Ashesi's first class in 2002. A community lunch in the Archer Cornfield Courtyard saw us have our first university-wide gathering since 2020. We kicked off various events at Ashesi to mark our return to campus and our two-decade journey.
Ashesi's growth into a leading African university over the past two decades has impacted higher education across the continent in multiple ways. From a pioneer class of 30, we now have over 3,000 students and alumni. And over the past five years, we have helped transform learning outcomes for 149,000 students thanks to an inspired network of African higher education partners.
As an additional nod to Ashesi's impact on Africa and in higher education, the University was ranked as one of Africa's most impactful on the 2022 Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings - among the continent's top ten and first in Ghana based on contributions toward the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ashesi continues to reach more as classes grow
In 2022, we officially welcomed two new undergraduate classes to Ashesi - the Class of 2025 at the start of the year and the Class of 2026 at the end. The classes collectively make up a little over 700 students, bringing our total student population to approximately 1,400. The Class of 2026 begins its first formal semester in January 2023 as Ashesi's largest, at 370 students.
We also welcomed the pioneering class of postgraduate students at Ashesi - the first cohort of our joint Masters in Mechatronic Engineering with ETH Zurich. The Ashesi - ETH Zurich joint Master's Programme in Mechatronic Engineering, formally announced in October 2020, combines the strength of mission, teaching, and innovation across our two universities. It will enable students to access a high-quality Engineering master's education in Africa, with faculty from Switzerland joining colleagues in Ghana to co-teach at Ashesi's campus.
Commencement 2022 was yet another reminder of the strength of our community, as a rainstorm forced an adjustment of plans the evening prior. It was one of our best events this year, as friends and family gathered to celebrate the graduands and listened to strong messages from speakers. The Class brings our alumni community to a little over 2,100.
"To this day, it remains hard to tell if having to spend some time learning online was a good thing," read Class Speaker Ndze'dzenyuy '22. "What we do know, however, is that more than anything we experienced in the past four years, nothing brought to life our endurance, resilience, boldness, and sense of community as this halftime period of online learning. [...] Even the basest of despair did not extinguish your little candle of hope. You have been resilient and supportive of one another, and you have been your finest. [...] Whatever is coming tomorrow will meet us, like always, at our finest."
Faculty deepen work in innovation and research
Led by the Office of Academic Affairs, research efforts across the Ashesi community saw a significant boost. Faculty raised funding to drive research projects in Computer Science, Business and Entrepreneurship, Engineering, and the Humanities. Faculty mentorship also saw many students take on ambitious projects, research and problem-solving competitions, several earning global recognition.
Ashesi also signed on to several new collaborative efforts to boost research and innovation, including with the University of Toronto, the Mastercard Foundation, the National Institute for Health and Care Research, and the French Embassy in Ghana.
Beyond the Horizon: Previewing the Strategic Plan for Ashesi's Third Decade
Our third-decade plan, previewed publicly for the first time at our 20th anniversary, leans on lessons from our last two decades and accelerates our impact in Africa. Centred around six key predictions for Africa's future, the plan focuses on the skills leaders will require to harness the continent's economic and social potential.
Additionally, the plan will see Ashesi deepen its financial resilience, embrace thoughtful goals around diversity and access, and boost research, innovation and entrepreneurship. Through the Education Collaborative, Ashesi will also work with peers and colleague institutions to transform learning outcomes for a million students across Africa. We are entering our third decade with strong partnerships that give us momentum, with a global community including the Mastercard Foundation, Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropies, Cartier Philanthropy, and Global Affairs Canada, helping enable critical aspects of work into the future.
Thank you for journeying with us through an unforgettable 2022, and we look forward to kicking off our third decade in 2023.
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