Creating an Educational Model Designed for Africa

African Leadership Universities have disrupted the traditional balance of power in the university upside down by making the experience student-centric instead of professor-centric. Ghanaian entrepreneur Fred Swaniker has examined what has changed over the last several hundred years in university development, and designed a university that takes advantage of technology and the proliferation of information that was not so readily available in the past.  With the internet making straight factual information so accessible, the role of the professor and the traditional text book is diminished. Hence, Swaniker’s educational philosophy involves self-directed student learning and students learning from one another, a cornerstone of Stanford University’s MBA programme from which Swaniker graduated. Instead of presenting students with a backwards focused menu of subject areas from which to choose, students define the global challenge that they wish to address in the future.  One student is looking at urbanization, and the challenges that Africa’s rapid urbanization will create over the next few decades. This means that the student must master concepts in housing, education, public health, resource management, etc.  Students are also then required to intern within an organization that addresses their area of concern, which provides a pragmatic validation of the academic area of interest. Students then return to the classroom with real world understanding of their area of interest, and can re-calibrate their understanding of the subject matter accordingly, including the effectiveness of their approach to solving this challenge.SOURCE:  AFRICA.COM

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