The American University of Nigeria was founded in response to the need for a world-class university in sub-Saharan Africa.
The goal of AUN is to train the future leaders of Africa and to serve as both a stimulus and agent of economic development throughout the region.
To that end, all students, regardless of academic specialization, will receive high-level training in information technology, entrepreneurship and in arts and sciences, all of which are the key to future sustainable development. AUN is committed to providing the skills and the leadership essential to advancing the continent's pressing social and economic challenges.
The University is located in the city of Yola, capital of Adamawa, one of Nigeria's 36 states. The campus, which occupies nearly 1000 hectares, is a serene mixture of desert and farmland. Adamawa, one of the six states in northeast Nigeria, shares the longest borderline with Cameroon Republic. Yola is accessible by road and air with daily flights from the Yola Airport connect through Abuja to regional, national and international locations.
AUN also has several other auxiliary facilities around the campus. These include a modern Hotel, a University Club, an ICT Center, and a Printing Press.
The University recently opened an Agricultural Entrepreneurship School on a local farmstead near the campus.
The American University of Nigeria opened its doors to its first students in 2005. Founded by the former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, it is located in north-eastern Nigeria in Yola, the state capital of Adamawa state, the vice president’s home town. Having benefited from the U.S. system of instruction as a young man, Abubakar sought to make this style of education — emphasizing critical thinking, small classes, student participation, problem-solving, a US-style general education program, and an American-trained faculty — available to all qualified young people of Nigeria and, increasingly, to the rest of the world.
Originally named the ABTI American University of Nigeria, the name was simplified to American University of Nigeria following discussions with American University in Washington, D.C. (which AUN exchanges students with). This puts it in conformity with practices of other American Universities outside of the United States, such as the American University of Beirut and the American University of Paris. AUN is the only such institution of higher learning in sub-Saharan Africa.
There have been three presidents in the first years of AUN’s development: Dr. David Huwiler, Dr. Michael Smith, and the current president, Dr. Margee Ensign. Dr. Ensign came to the post having served as dean of the School of International Studies at the University of the Pacific, where she was also the associate provost.