The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the world’s most distinguished centers of higher education. Its excellent teaching and research facilities are maintained at a level designed to ensure their outstanding services for students, faculty, staff, and the broader community. The University is organized into twelve colleges, two institutes, and two schools. The student body includes individuals from every region of the United States and from more than 100 countries. Each year, approximately 4,000 international students enroll at the University, of which over a hundred come from Africa.
The Center for African Studies’ educational mission is especially vital in today’s emerging global age, a time that promises greater international cooperation and interdependence. Preparing the next generation of students in the new global age represents a unique challenge that the Center accepts. To do so, the Center brings together a group of people from across campus and beyond this University who have a common interest in Africa. With this shared commitment, as well as diverse training and research interests, the Center provides a rich and vibrant environment for research, training, and educational programs.
The African studies program at the University of Illinois was formally established in 1970 with the support of the state of Illinois and the federal government. The Program in African Studies was later elevated to the status of a Center in 1986. Since its establishment, the Center has received both national and international recognition for its work.
The Center works with other units to promote the study of Africa as widely as possible. Such efforts include arranging visiting appointments for scholars on Africa, providing for visiting lectures, mentoring students, developing teaching aids, and organizing seminars, conferences, and symposia where people can exchange ideas. Off campus, it offers community and educational groups a variety of teaching, curriculum development, and informational resources relating to the African continent.