In today’s competitive job market, individuals who pursue a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) education obtain a valuable set of skills that improve their employment prospects and equip them to meet the demands of the current employment landscape. This comprehensive educational approach incorporates a wide range of skills and experiences, with each STEAM element playing a crucial role in fostering a well-rounded educational experience. By delving into the realm of STEAM, students acquire an indepth understanding of the world around them, heightening their awareness of its complexities and nuances.
Established in 2009, Academic City University College (ACity) is one of Africa’s premium STEAM and Entrepreneurial tertiary institutions set to define modern tertiary education in Ghana and throughout the African continent. Academic City prides itself on educating ‘Future Ready Problem Solvers.’
Since its inception, Academic City has proven its resolve to change the narrative for higher education in Africa and is committed to providing the best education attainable anywhere in the world, whether it be through online or blended or in-contact learning.
The university offers undergraduate degree programmes in Engineering, Informatics, Business and Communication Arts. Its programmes are carefully and strategically designed to provide a world-class STEAM education aimed at developing students to be practical, hands-on, and productive.
As part of Academic City’s ongoing initiatives aimed at enhancing technology and innovation education in Africa, it has designed a distinctive approach to business and arts programmes by integrating coding and programming. Students enrolled in these programmes have the opportunity to acquire coding and programming skills, enabling them to develop the technological savvy necessary to meet the demands of future job markets.
Academic City’s primary goal is to ensure that students are capable of solving complicated challenges in creative and ethical ways. To accomplish this, it prioritizes highquality teaching and learning. The institution hires professors with industry experience who are specialists in their fields and are dedicated to providing excellent education to pupils. Academic City also supports new and innovative teaching approaches and is constantly working to enhance its courses.
Productive Learning Experiences
The approach to teaching and learning at Academic City is founded on four key pillars: Experiential, Contextual, Unified, and Extensional. These pillars serve as the core of its educational philosophy and drive its efforts to give students a well-rounded and productive learning experience.
- Experiential: Academic City believes hands-on learning and practical application are best for students. It has industry-standard workshops for this. These sessions allow students to practice their skills using state-of-the-art equipment. Early exposure to real-world dynamics in their chosen careers is important. Academic City also encourages early internships for students. Internships teach them about their chosen fields. Through the above, students can better understand how academic information and abilities are applied in practical work contexts.
- Contextual: Academic City emphasizes real-world learning. It highlights how students’ knowledge and talents are directly related to Africa’s current concerns. It helps students understand how their education can solve Africa’s problems by bringing Africa’s problems into the classroom. Academic City wants youth to comprehend Africa’s unique issues. ACity students become excellent problem-solvers and change-makers by integrating their studies into real-world issues and taking advantage of opportunities to traverse and develop Africa.
- Extensional: Academic City believes that learning should extend beyond the confines of the classroom. It provides students with the tools for them to continue to learn and explore various fields of work outside of the classroom and after graduation.
- Unified: Academic City firmly believes that learning is most effective when it is integrated and interconnected across various disciplines. In a professional setting, it is evident that individuals and departments operate in collaboration. With this principle in mind, its curriculum is designed to foster collaboration among students from diverse disciplines, allowing them to work together on assignments and projects. ACity promotes interdisciplinary problem-solving by bringing together students from diverse fields. This collaborative learning experience equips students to solve challenging real-world problems using their unique skills and perspectives. It also fosters teamwork, communication, and an understanding of how different disciplines interact in an organization.
Identifying the Additional Offerings
Academic City’s foremost dedication lies in providing students with the most exceptional university experience available globally. It consistently engages in rigorous review exercises to assess enhancements that can be made to its existing programs or identify additional offerings that would greatly benefit its student body.
The recent introduction of the BSc in AI and Robotics Engineering exemplifies the institution’s forward-thinking approach and unwavering dedication to providing innovative programmes that equip students for the future.
In addition, the newly established student recreation centre at the university provides an ideal space for relaxation and rejuvenation after a day of rigorous academic pursuits. The centre is furnished and designed to foster an atmosphere conducive to students’ ability to relax and re-energize.
Embracing and Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion
Academic City is deeply committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment where every individual feels valued, respected, and supported. It believes that diversity in all its forms, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and socio-economic background, enriches the community and enhances the learning and working experience for everyone.
To achieve this, the university has implemented several initiatives and strategies:
- The Diversity and Inclusion value of Academic City University College is communicated to all members of the community, i.e., both staff and students, ensuring that everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities in creating an inclusive environment.
- Academic City intentionally recruits/admits a diverse pool of students, staff, and faculty members. Its students are from approximately 34 different countries, with a larger percentage being from diverse Francophone countries. This effort has been made possible through targeted programs, partnerships with organizations promoting diversity and inclusion and scholarship opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds, including the less privileged. It also works to create a supportive and inclusive environment that encourages the retention and success of staff and faculty from all backgrounds. Its staff and faculty include individuals from different countries. Academic City is intentionally bridging the gap between male and female students’ ratio through targeted female programs such as the recently held menstrual hygiene day. A large percentage of leadership positions in Academic City are held by females.
- It organizes seminars for members of its community on topics related to diversity to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of different perspectives.
- It has support systems such as counselling services, mentorship programmes, and an office specifically for Global Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion to provide a sense of belonging, foster connections, and offer support networks for personal and professional development.
- Academic City encourages faculty members to include diverse voices, authors, and case studies in their teaching materials. This approach allows students to engage with a wide range of perspectives and develop a deeper understanding of the world.
- Academic City also actively seeks out international partnerships with companies and educational institutions in other countries and engages in exchange programmes.
Forming the Right Alliances
Partnerships and collaborations with industries are critical in higher education. They act as an important link between academics and industry, promoting economic growth and societal influence. Such collaborations ensure that university courses stay current and relevant to industrial needs.
In keeping with this objective, Academic City has formed alliances with several renowned corporations, providing important internship opportunities for its students. Notably, its partnership with the US State Department’s Office of Global Partnership and Arm (E)NGAGE has resulted in positive outcomes, such as the establishment of the Connecting Climate Entrepreneurs Initiative (CCE) for sustainability and the building of Arm labs on the campus.
Furthermore, it has formed a collaboration with the Israeli government through the Israeli Embassy in Ghana to develop a maker space on its campus. The primary goal of this effort is to increase youth job possibilities throughout the country. The maker space is open not only to students but also to the general public.
Demonstrating Outstanding Prospects
The University’s first graduates have excelled in various and distinguished positions globally, demonstrating the institution’s outstanding education and prospects.
Academic City has graduates working in various companies, inclusive but not limited to Goldman Sachs London Office. Graduates have also gone on to spearhead their own enterprises – one such enterprise is Goliath Robotics GH Ltd. There, three graduates collaborated to manufacture an electric bicycle called the Big Mike that is able to take riders from one point to the other without the rider having to paddle the bike manually. Other enterprises include a robotics company and the development of a 1000-egg incubator to boost the poultry industry in Ghana.
Outside of the industry, Academic City graduates are also making their mark in the field of Academia. Some graduates have been given the opportunity to pursue masters degrees and PhDs at Virginia Tech, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Oregon State University in the USA as well as Beckett Leeds in the UK.
These accomplishments of Academic City University College’s students reflect the holistic education and support provided by it in nurturing talented professionals and entrepreneurs for the future.