Aga Khan University renames Academy after Eritrean physician Dr. Debas

ERITREA – The Chancellor of the Aga Khan University (AKU), His Highness the Aga Khan has renamed the University’s teachers’ academy the Haile T. Debas Teachers’ Academy​ after an Eritrean physician and academic administrator Dr Haile T. Debas.

Dr. Haile Debas has been recognized for his outstanding contribution as a medical educator, acclaimed surgeon, researcher as well as his contributions to higher education in the Global South by the Aga Khan University.

Founded in 1983, Aga Khan University is a non-profit institution and an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network which focuses on health, education, culture, rural development, institution building and the promotion of economic development.

It is among the largest private health-care providers in Pakistan and East Africa through AKU hospitals accredited by US– based Joint Commission International.

The University’s teachers Academy is considered to be the first interdisciplinary teaching institution of its kind in the developing world and it is made up of outstanding AKU teachers who are recognized for their excellence in teaching and leadership in higher education. ​​​​

The impact of the Academy was recognized internationally in Dubai when the University was presented with the inaugural Award of Excellence for Disruptive Education, a category of the Zairi International Awards for Excellence in Higher Education.

Dr. Haile Debas guided the implementation of the Haile T. Debas Teachers’ Academy in its first five years as the chair of the Teachers’ Academy Advisory Body (TAAB) which was formed in August 2019.

The Haile T. Debas Teachers’ Academy is a place within the Quality, Teaching and Learning Network where excellent teachers mentor other faculty to enhance teaching practices to ensure continued academic excellence at the University.

Dr. Haile served at the University of California as the Founding Executive Director of UCSF Global Health Sciences (2003-2010), Dean of the School of Medicine (1993-2003), Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs for six years and Chancellor for one year.

He is also a member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine and has helped set up the AKU’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research by facilitating collaboration between the University and experts at UCSF.

Moreover, Dr. Debas has been part of the University’s leadership for over 12 years as a trustee of the AKU Board, serving seven years as chairman which resulted to growth and development of the University.

AKU President Sulaiman Shahabuddin applauded Dr Debas for embracing the challenge of transforming teaching and learning at AKU as well as bringing his unmatched experience and expertise to the task.

Dr. Debas was further credited for AKU’s recognition as a very strong reputable institution globally with high-quality faculty as well as excellent and ambitious students offering first-rate medical care.

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