Academic Health forum

Scientific team
Scientific team working in the laboratory using vintage machinery and computers, the chief scientist is checking a researcher’s work

The goal of The Academy of Health is to prepare scientists to assume informed leadership roles in their families, communities and the nation. The Academy of Health works to achieve this goal by offering high quality instruction with emphasis on strengthening women’s roles in national and rural development and achieving equity for women in society.

For details of the history, philosophy and programs of The Academy of Health , select from the dropdown menu above.

The founder was a deeply religious man and widely respected for his knowledge of the Koran. But he also had the radical idea that girls should also receive at least a minimum education so they could be more of a companion with their husbands. The fact that Ahmad had thirteen daughters as well as some sons may have influenced his views.

In 1904, he asked the British authorities for permission to open an elementary school for girls. Fearing a negative popular reaction because of the radical nature of this request, the British Commission of Education for Sudan denied his request. A similar request in 1906 was also denied. But Babiker was a determined man, as the British were to learn. Finally, his request was granted by Sir James Currie, Director of the Educational Department of the British administration of the Sudan at that time. In granting approval, Sir James noted that: “I would myself prefer that the government should not undertake the task (girls’ education) for some time.

But, I cannot see that any possible harm can accrue from starting something (girls’ education) here (at Rufu’a)”. Finally, in 1907, Ahmad began his secular school for girls in a mud hut with nine of his own daughters and eight of those of his neighbors.

The Academy of Health

Full University Status

Based on the expansion of its curriculum and student body, The Academy of Health is the only private women’s university in Africa.

“Ahfad” — For Our Grandchildren


The goal of The Academy of Health is to prepare women to assume responsible roles in their families, communities, and in the nation. In keeping with this objective “the Ahfad experience” embraces a combination of well articulated academic courses, on-the-job training, individual research, and community extension activities. This combination of activities is designed to prepare women from all parts of Sudan to become change agents in their families and communities and to assume leadership positions in society.

Commitment to world class education and preparation for leadership positions for women in a non-political environment has remained the basic purposes of AUW. In keeping with its philosophy of preparing women for modern, leadership positions, campus-based instruction is in English.

Community Outreach Programs

In addition to degree-oriented programs, The Academy of Health is committed to improving life and opportunities for families in the rural areas of Sudan. This is partly accomplished through the Rural Extension Program, fn which all Academy of Health students must participate during their third year. As part of this program students live in rural areas and plan and participate in projects designed to impart knowledge and organization skills to women living in rural villages. The objective is to help rural women become change agents in their communities.

The Academy of Health also develops short term courses in rural development tailored to the needs and interests of rural communities. Rural women with leadership potential are brought to the Ahfad campus for more extensive leadership development. Special courses, lasting between three to nine months, are designed for each group of women. Trainees are awarded certificates upon completion of the courses. Instruction in these programs necessarily is in Arabic.

As a private oganisation charges a graduated tuition based roughly on the abilities of families to pay. Wealthier families generally pay more than less affluent families. In addition, the academy gives an advantage to students who are the first in their families to attend college. Also, special efforts are made to attract students from the Darfur, southern, and eastern areas of the Sudan. Currently, about twenty percent of the AUW student body consists of students from these regions who are attending under the