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Almost 800 African students, 300 more than last year, will attend American colleges and universities next fall, David D. Henry, director of the African Scholarship Program of American Universities, said recently.
The program for selecting and helping African youths to get their education in the United States began in 1960 with 14 Nigerian students and 24 co-operating American institutions, including Harvard. Under the leadership of Henry, former dean of admissions at the University, the number of participating colleges has grown to 213, and the students now come from 24 African countries.
Henry pointed out that the African students have been extremely successful in their academic careers in the U.S. Last year some 22 per cent had A averages; 36 per cent, B; 31 percent, C; 8 per cent, D; and only 3 per cent, F.
Public and private institutions throughout the country provide complete four-year undergraduate scholarships for the Africans. Costs other that tuition are covered by the agency for international development from foreign aid funds authorized by Congress. The African students come to America with the assistance of their own governments, which provide travel costs. Additional financial support is provided by various foundations.
Administrative co-ordination for the program stems from the ASPAU's central office in Cambridge and the African-American Institute's five offices in Africa and New York.
In selecting students for the program. American admissions officers sit in each cooperating country with African educators and civic leaders. The African committee members bring to the process a knowledge of educational problems and national manpower needs in each country.
For some time to come, he pointed out, African countries will have more qualified university candidates than they can accommodate locally. In addition, American colleges and universities can provide certain specialized kinds of training not yet available in Africa's institutions.
Henry singled out several of the students from Africa who have achieved positions of leadership in their American colleges and universities. Christian Ohiri '64, a Nigerian, holds the Crimson career scoring record in soccer; a freshman from Nigeria was elected to the student senate of the University of Wisconsin; a Tanganyikan student at Geneva College, Pa., is working toward a pilot's license in his "spare time;" an undergraduate from Southern Rhodesia at Tufts University taught a summer college course on contemporary Africa; an ASPAU engineering student at the University of Pennsylvania and an ASPAU girl at Brooklyn School of Pharmacy each scored a perfect record of straight A's, Henry noted.
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