Graduation 2019: Celebrating Hope | Aga Khan Academies

Graduation 2019: Celebrating Hope

In March 2005, His Highness the Aga Khan talked about his vision for the Academies. He said the Academies would admit students on the basis of their merit only, and would give them the opportunity to reach their full potential. The Academies would attract the best teachers both from local regions and across the world. They would develop close working relationships with other institutions. But His Highness also knew that the Academies would be a challenging project. He was wilfully building educational institutions that dare to compare their students, teachers and curriculum to some of the best in the world. The Academies are judged against an international standard of success.

We have risen to these challenges; earlier this year, the Academies graduated our 1,000th student. The number of a thousand has cultural significance across the world. For example, 1,000 years is a millennium, the number 1,000 can be a symbol of magnitude, or represent an indefinite quantity. For the Academies, the number is a symbol of optimism. Alumni of the Academies will go on to complete tertiary education, and then return back to their home countries to use their skills and expertise to improve the quality of life of the people amongst whom they live. In addition, they are ambassadors of the Academies and a shining example of the ethos and vision of not only the Academies themselves, but of the teachers, contributors, parents and families that have shaped the people they are today. 

From the start of their education, His Highness wanted students to be active participants in civil society. He challenged the notion that global experiences should only come when a person begins their career. For the students, the notion of social conscience is an integral part of their learning. Good citizenship, ethics and pluralism are embedded in their educational experience from the outset. Through this they develop a social conscience and a sense of responsibility and concern for the world in which they live. Students are not obligated to return home once they complete their education; it is the notion of social conscience that leads the students back to their homes and to improve the quality of lives of the people amongst whom they live. 

Supporting this hope of our students returning to contribute to their home countries, the Academies unique bilingual programme ensures that students have deep connections to their local context and culture. Allowing students to engage with their community in their own language, as well as building an authentic understanding of its heritage and traditions, is vital to maintaining strong links with their home. This gives Academies students the understandings and skills needed to contribute meaningfully to the development of their community, both now and in the future.

In his speech delivered at the graduation ceremony, Salim Bhatia, Director of the Aga Khan Academies referred to the graduates as ‘beacons of hope.’ He said that they are beacons of hope who have been educated to the highest international standards. They embrace diversity, retain a personal humility and work towards making the world a better place. He went on to say that the teachers, parents, fellow classmates and alumni are all counting on them; they will shape the future of society and make a positive impact on humanity. Moreover, the graduating Class of 2019 provides hope to us all.

And that is definitely something to celebrate.



Click here to return to the Aga Khan Academies June 2019 Newsletter.

Additional Graduation related resources:

ARTICLE: Aga Khan Academies celebrate graduating 1,000 global leaders
PHOTO GALLERY: AKA Hyderabad and AKA Mombasa Graduation Ceremonies 
IN THE MEDIA (TV):  AKA Mombasa Class of 2019 Graduates (NTV Kenya)
IN THE MEDIA (PRESS): 75 students graduate from AKA Hyderabad (The Hans)
SPEECH: Salim Bhatia, Director, Aga Khan Academies (Mombasa) 
SPEECH: Sam Pickens, Deputy Director of Communications, AKDN (Hyderabad)