AIMS' focus is on transforming post-graduate education for talented African mathematics and science students. Most are currently unable to maximize their potential because there are few opportunities available to them – while this is tragic, the fact that these students could be the future leaders of academics, industry and governments makes this wastage even more so.
AIMS has been specifically designed to provide talented students with necessary inputs to shine; they build on their existing education through an innovative programme which provides them with broad training in mathematical sciences, a field which underlies most aspects of modern society. The broadness of the curriculum and the emphasis on independent, problem-solving thinking allows students to realize their inherent creativity and prepares them especially well for future leadership careers.
As of June 2013, AIMS has graduated 560 students (31% women) with over 80% going into Master's and PhD programs directly after AIMS at excellent universities in Africa and abroad. A total of 260 alumni have completed Master's degrees and 112more are in progress. A further 70 alumni have completed PhD degrees and 180 more are in progress. This exceptional cadre of students is poised to become the new generation of leaders in their countries and on the continent.
Their impact is already being felt – many of the faculty at the departments of mathematics at the Universities of Zambia and Khartoum are AIMS graduates and they are in turn educating hundreds of students each year.
AIMS is also, through its research and teacher training programmes, enriching students, teachers and professors by providing them with tools and inspiration for mathematics. AIMS has reached over 500 disadvantaged mathematics teachers in South Africa and provided them with remedial training, to help them make mathematics more interesting for the young generation.
In 2011, as the AIMS-SA model was being replicated across Africa through the AIMS Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI), it was both timely and responsible for an independent evaluation of the model to be undertaken.
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