Graduation 2018 | Aga Khan Academies

Graduation 2018

01 June 2018

The graduating class at AKA MombasaThe Aga Khan Academies celebrated the graduation of 160 students from the Academies in Mombasa, Kenya and Hyderabad, India on Saturday, 19 May 2018. The Class of 2018 included 76 students from the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa and 84 students from the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad, many of whom will be going on to higher education at leading universities worldwide.

AKA Hyderabad's Class of 2018This year’s graduating classes have collectively been offered over USD 11 million in scholarships and financial aid from some of the world's top universities, including Yale University, Brown University, University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University, University College London, King’s College London, University of Manchester, University of Edinburgh, University of Utrecht, Sciences Po and University of Melbourne. 

Having completed their rigorous programme at the Academies, the Class of 2018 concluded their journey with graduation ceremonies attended by fellow students, faculty and staff, as well as parents, extended families and invited guests. 

The guest speaker at the ceremony in Mombasa was Dr Mahmoud Eboo, the Resident Representative of His Highness the Aga Khan and the Aga Khan Development Network in Canada. As Dr Eboo observed, this year’s graduation falls within the Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan, marking 60 years since his accession as the Imam of the Ismaili Muslim community.

The 2018 graduates have been offered more than $11 million in university scholarships“Academy students have benefitted directly from [His Highness’s] vision, commitment, and immense generosity,” said Salim Bhatia, Director of Academies, whose speech was broadcast to both graduating classes.

Arif Lalani, Head of the Department of Diplomatic Affairs for the Ismaili Imamat in Lisbon, Portugal, was the chief guest at the ceremony in Hyderabad. He noted that the cosmopolitan ethic of the Academies, and the focus on pluralism integrated within the curriculum, will have equipped them like no other graduating class for the world they will face. 

Their Academies education prepares graduates to give back to their home communitiesThe Academies provide access to world-class primary and secondary education for talented students regardless of their socio-economic background, ethnicity, religion or gender. In doing so, they prepare students to succeed in higher education and, as home-grown leaders, to eventually support the development of their home communities and countries. A great school, His Highness the Aga Khan said, "will educate its students not merely to be personally successful but also to use their gifts to build their communities and enhance the common good to levels beyond our dreams.”

For some students, their experience at the Academies had at one time been an unattainable dream. The Academies’ Talent Identification programme seeks out gifted students with leadership potential from marginalised backgrounds and provides them with financial aid to attend an Academy for their high school education. By enabling these talented students to receive a high-quality education that allows them to access the world’s best universities, this programme dramatically changes their opportunities and their long-term ability to help their families and communities.

Arif Lalani participates in the pinning ceremony at AKA HyderabadPrudence Hainga, from Kisumu, Kenya, is one of these students. Prudence has been awarded a MasterCard Foundation scholarship and will be attending the University of Edinburgh on full scholarship to study political science. 

"I want to realise my childhood dream of fighting injustice and corruption in Kenya...learning how political systems function and what others have done to ensure sustainable development as well as spread out opportunities for their citizens...I am motivated to use my knowledge as a weapon against discrimination and inequality and work for a better Kenya – a Kenya that feels like home to all," says Prudence.

Dr Eboo presents the Academy Award of Excellence to one of the two AKA Mombasa recipientsLike Prudence, Academies graduates are uniquely committed to giving back to their home communities – a characteristic that university officers find highly impressive. As Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice-Chancellor of Ryerson University, observed following a visit to AKA Hyderabad, “Over the years I have interacted with thousands of young people, and I can say that it was truly unique to hear every last student talk about advancing their communities rather than aspiring toward individualized accomplishments. The values and ethics expressed by the Academy students was truly inspiring.”