Notice: Important information about COVID-19 here.

Helping the next generation of African scholars

By Costa Maragos Posted: October 20, 2016 11:00 a.m.

(l-r) Dr. Thomas Chase, Provost and Vice-President (Academic); Dr. David Kribs, International Academic Director of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative with program alumni Comfort Mintah and Mike Nelson; Dr. Douglas Farenik, Acting Dean for the Faculty of Science.
(l-r) Dr. Thomas Chase, Provost and Vice-President (Academic); Dr. David Kribs, International Academic Director of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative with program alumni Comfort Mintah and Mike Nelson; Dr. Douglas Farenik, Acting Dean for the Faculty of Science. Photo by Rae Graham – U of R Photography.

Opportunities have opened up for faculty and graduate students to help some of Africa’s brightest students excel in the field of mathematical sciences.

The University of Regina has signed an initiative with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative.

The institute is an academic network of six centres of excellence that seeks to create a learning environment from which the next Einstein might emerge. The centers are located in Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.
 
Faculty members and graduate students from the U of R will now be able to travel to these centers to teach and support tutoring, short term.
 
“The Faculty of Science, at the University of Regina, is very honoured in partnering with this initiative and support the work it’s doing academically, empowering Africa's brightest minds," says Dr. Douglas Farenick, acting dean of the faculty of science. "Through this partnership, academic exchanges and the mobility of students and faculty members will be promoted between the University of Regina and African countries."  
 
This program has many supporters around the world. Nobel laureates and fields medalists have volunteered to teach at the centre, in addition to faculty members and lecturers from universities in Canada and around the world.
 
Aside from the U of R, Canadian partner universities include the University of British Columbia, University of Ottawa, University of Victoria, and University of Waterloo. International universities include the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of Chicago, and University of Paris South.

These partnerships ensure that the academic program at each centre in Africa is of the highest standard and is integrated with undergraduate and masters-level courses of host country universities.

The institute has now seen more than 900 students graduate since 2003. Most of those graduates (95 per cent) have gone on to pursue master and PhD degrees, or have found employment in academic institutions, government, private companies and research facilities.

"This collaboration allows our faculty members to profile the University of Regina for students seeking masters and doctoral programs in the faculty of science," explains Farenick.

Some of the current partners of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative, include the German Academic Exchange Service; Google; the International Development Research Centre; the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; and Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.