thousands miss out in scramble for Pan African University places

Of the 10,879 students who applied for places in the African Union-owned postgraduate university of excellence, only 438 have won a place.

An early notification posted on the university’s Facebook page shows that while students from 55 African countries sent applications, only 4% won a place at the coveted university, where students study on full scholarships.

The PAU which operates four thematic institutes across Africa admits that the selection process had been tough owing to the high number of applicants, their diverse skills and qualifications.

“We have received more than 10,789 applications from 55 African Union member states and were expected to select around 438 candidates. Considering your various skills, the selection process was thorough, objective and tough. It therefore took some time,” the social media post said.

While the university which offers masters and doctorate degrees mainly in sciences, did not post the list of successful applicants on its website or on those of its institutes, it promised that the all selected applicants will have been contacted by email by the end of last week.

“The selection process was thorough, objective and tough”

“The results are being published progressively by the institutes and not by the rectorate and as is customary at the PAU, only selected candidates will receive notifications. However, we have taken note of your suggestion to notify all candidates, selected or not and we will certainly do so in the future,” the university told applicants.

The 2021/22 call for applications which was made in June 2021 attracted 8,658 applicants for MA/MSc programs and 2,131 for PhD programs. Out of the figure only 2,367 were females. The deluge of applications has become a common feature whenever a call is made, with the 2018/19 being the peak year when 13,408 applications were made against 418 available places.

Institutes operated by the continental university include, the Institute of Water and Energy Sciences at the University of Tlemcen, Algeria, the Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya, the Institute for Life and Earth Sciences, including health and agriculture, hosted by the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and the Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Yaoundé II in Cameroon.

The institution offers studies in 57 disciplines, including 29 masters and 16 PhD programs.

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