When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, students around the world were forced to learn online. According to Fred Swaniker, co-founder of African Leadership University (ALU), this has been an opportunity to rethink conventional education as it was known before the pandemic.
As Covid-19 cases rose and fell and the country moved in and out of lockdown, the situation became continually unpredictable and so ALU, despite having a brand new campus located in the city of l innovation from Kigali, proposed the “hub” learning model. , which will see its students study and graduate without entering the classroom.
On June 28, ALU launched its Kigali hub, which is located in the city and the university says this is another step in its five-year strategy announced last year, which they believe will redefine the university education as we know it.
“The idea of hubs is to have spaces where students can meet in small groups, a place with internet, electricity and other infrastructure, and learn without going to campus. In the hub, they can network and be close to communities and employers,” explained Swaniker, adding that the initiative will help create students with the necessary employable and innovative skills.
According to ALU, the new strategic direction, grounded in learning-by-doing, non-major assignments, and educational accessibility demonstrates ALU’s commitment to providing world-class experiential education. Immersive hands-on learning along with a mission-focused education enables the development of effective problem-solving and leadership skills in ALU students.
According to Swaniker, as a key part of ALU’s learning-by-doing philosophy, ALU hubs facilitate on-site student learning, internships, and collaboration with key community stakeholders. Students are placed close to challenges and opportunities in communities across Africa and the world. Through collaboration with key business leaders and community stakeholders, ALU students cement the long-term relationships needed to spark positive change.
Speaking at the launch event, ALU CEO Veda Sunassee said the hubs model will not only redefine learning, but also create graduates who are more problem solvers in their respective communities.
“What I like about this new approach is that it is not a departure but rather an evolution of our learning model that brings us even closer to our vision of developing tens of thousands of leaders and problem solvers for the continent,”
“This new model allows us to further optimize learner-centred, peer-based and experiential learning. We strongly believe that by empowering students to take ownership of their learning, bringing them closer to the systems in which they intend to effect change, and spreading our Pan-African community across diverse cities in Africa and beyond, we effectively prepare them for the real world.
Currently, a select group of ALU students are participating in a 3-month experiential learning program in conjunction with Design Hub Kampala, Uganda’s capital. From July 25 to August 19, 2022, in collaboration with the Carnegie Foundation, another group of ALU students will spend a few weeks in a unique immersive program in Silicon Valley, California, as part of their real world and life journey. experiential learning. .