Stanford Sees a Surge in African Studies Students

Stanford senior Brenda Mutuma with children in Uganda

Stanford University reports a major increase in students taking courses in African studies. There has also been large uptick in students who are studying or doing internships in Africa.

The number of students taking African studies courses at Stanford has increased 27 percent over the past eight years. The university’s Center for African Studies operates a Cape Town Summer Fellowship Program which offers Stanford students an opportunity to conduct research for a community organization in South Africa. Enrollment in the program has tripled in the past year. Applicants for the program are double the number of available positions.

In addition, there are African study abroad programs at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, the School of Engineering, and the School of Medicine.

Jeremy Weinstein, associate professor of political science and the director of the Center for African Studies, says, “Africa is a laboratory for furthering our understanding of important problems. So many of the new and important works in many disciplines – whether political science, biology or economics – are now being done to answer questions, and using data and evidence, that relate to the African experience.”

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