Mastercard Foundation, United States International University-Africa, and Arizona State University Partner to Strengthen E-Learning Capacity in Africa and Beyond

Mastercard Foundation, United States International University-Africa, and Arizona State University Partner to Strengthen E-Learning Capacity in Africa and Beyond

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

TORONTO, Canada, 4 November 2021 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- Today, the Mastercard FoundationUnited States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa), and Arizona State University (ASU) announced the launch of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program e-Learning Initiative, which over the next five years, will enable more than 600,000 university students to successfully pursue their studies online, from anywhere across Africa.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many universities, including those within the Scholars Program network, to suspend face-to-face classes and pivot to online learning. Building on what was learned during the disruption, this initiative will increase the investments that have already been made and strengthen the existing capacity of university partners to deliver high-quality, relevant, and inclusive e-learning courses. It will increase the number of young people accessing tertiary level education, particularly those living with disabilities, young women, refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and those living in rural areas. More than that, it will contribute to an e-learning community of practice in Africa, and beyond, that will enable collaborative learning and sharing of best practices and resources.

Young people in Kayonza District, Rwanda, participate in an online training program offered by TechnoServe in partnership with Mastercard Foundation. The e-Learning initiative will make higher education more inclusive and accessible to students across Africa.

“This agreement will bolster our e-learning capacity-building alongside 10 other participating international universities and strengthen the Scholars Program partner universities to deliver high-quality and inclusive online instruction and provide virtual support to all students,” said Professor Freida Brown, Interim Vice Chancellor, USIU-Africa. “It will also support the development of a community of practice in e-learning.”

During the first phase of the program (2020 to 2022), 135 faculty and staff from across 10 partner institutions will be trained to design and deliver online courses, and an estimated 95,000 students will access online learning. In the second phase (2022 to 2025), the number of online learners will grow to more than 600,000 and the initiative will be scaled to include new partners and institutions that are not currently part of the Scholars Program network.

Arizona State University (ASU), a leader in the space of e-learning, will serve as Lead Trainer, providing foundational training to the faculty and staff and conducting a series of tiered leadership roundtables and learning sessions. As the Network Facilitator, USIU-Africa, which was one of the first institutions in East Africa to successfully transition 90 percent of its programming online, will contextualize the content for an African setting and facilitate engagement and learning across the network. The Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning will play a key role, hosting a shared Content Management System that will curate content from participating universities within the Partner network. The Centre will also provide support to those institutions interested in developing in-house e-learning resource centres.

“Arizona State University is bound not by geography, but by principles,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Our focus is on student success and embracing technology to expand not only the quality of learning but access to education and thus our embrace of digital education. We are eager to take our work to a new level as part of this collaboration with USIU-Africa and the Mastercard Foundation to build online learning systems in Africa that are resilient to future shocks and customized to meet the individual needs of learners, anywhere on the continent.”

An instructor reviews an online STEM course designed by the University of Rwanda and AIMS as part of the Leaders in Teaching. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program e-Learning initiative trains instructors at participating universities to effectively teach virtual learners.

The initiative is aligned with the Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy and the vision for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program to create a transformative network of young people and institutions driving inclusive and equitable socio-economic change in Africa. This initiative will connect young people to educational content that is relevant and context specific through a curriculum that reflects labour market realities, includes courses on transformative leadership and ethics, and prioritizes mental health and well-being. Students will successfully acquire knowledge and be able to fully engage with faculty and course work in a supportive online environment.

COVID-19 provided the impetus to rethink how we conceptualize and deliver education. “Digitally-enabled learning is the wave of the future,” said Philip Cotton, Director, Human Capital Development, Mastercard Foundation. “But for everyone to benefit from this trend, we have to act now to ensure that all young people – irrespective of their background or location— are able to access work-relevant training conveniently and affordably. A big part of that is strengthening the capacity of higher education institutions to deliver online learning.”

Since training began in July 2021, the 135 e-Learning Champions have commenced their learning journey by completing the two-week virtual Master Class for Teaching Online with ASU and have advanced to the next phase, which includes Specialized Coaching tracks in Instructional Design and Online Pedagogy with USIU-Africa.

The partners participating in the first phase of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program e-Learning initiative are:

1. African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)
2. American University of Beirut
3. Ashesi University
4. EARTH University
5. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)
6. Makerere University
7. United States International University-Africa
8. University of Abomey-Calavi
9. University of Gondar
10. University of Rwanda

Distributed byAfrican Media Agencyon behalf of The Mastercard Foundation.

About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org

About USIU-Africa
USIU-Africa is one of the leading private Universities in Kenya, representing over 70 nationalities undertaking 35 Undergraduate, Graduate and Doctoral programs. It is the only University in the region with dual accreditation in Kenya by the Commission for University Education (CUE) and the United States of America (USA) by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) https://www.usiu.ac.ke/

About Arizona State University 
ASU is continuously recognized as a leader in innovation and digital education. The university has been ranked #1 out of all colleges and universities in the U.S. for innovation by U.S. News & World Report the past six years. Additionally, ASU is in the 6th out of the 353 best U.S. online bachelor’s programs and is larger than the programs of the top five schools combined (U.S. News & World Report). EdPlus, the university’s central enterprise unit focused on the design and scalable delivery of digital teaching and learning models to increase student success and reduce barriers to achievement in higher education, has developed over 200 fully online degrees, from software engineering and biological sciences to political science and business. www.asu.edu

Media Contacts
United States International University-Africa
Taigu Muchiri, Principal Marketing and Communications Officer-External Communications
M: +254-730 116 585
E: tmuchiri@usiu.ac.ke

Arizona State University
Jay Thorne, Assistant Vice President, Media Relations & Strategic Communications
M: +1-602-677-7518
E: jay.thorne@asu.edu

Mastercard Foundation
Tonya Reid, Partner, Scholars Program Communications
M: +1-437-992-3432
E: treid@mastercardfdn.org

You might also enjoy

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Become our partner

want more info, fill in this form.

Conférence de Presse en Ligne


Les frontières terrestres ne doivent pas constituer des obstacles à la dissémination de votre message. Grâce à notre service de conférence de presse en ligne, nous vous offrons l’opportunité de vous rapprocher des médias africains, chaque fois que vous en aurez besoin.

Nos services comprennent:

Digital Communications


Today, social networks constitute an organization’s first point of contact with a user and a potential customer. At first glance, you need to convince of the relevance and quality of your content to stimulate and motivate the user to go further. We create consistently inspiring online strategy to meet business objectives, engage stakeholders and enhance our client brand’s reputation internally and externally.

 

Communication​ digitale


Les réseaux sociaux représentent aujourd’hui le premier point de contact d’une organisation avec un utilisateur et un client potentiel. Au premier coup d’œil, vous devez le convaincre de la pertinence et de la qualité de votre contenu pour l’inciter à aller plus loin. Nous créons pour vous une stratégie de communication précise et adaptée sur les réseaux sociaux pour atteindre les objectifs commerciaux, impliquer les parties prenantes et améliorer la réputation de votre marque en interne et en externe.

Promotion​ d’événements


Le succès d’un événement réside en moitié dans sa promotion. Peu importe la beauté de l’événement, la qualité des orateurs et de l’ordre du jour, si personne ne rapporte ou ne parle de votre événement, vos efforts seront vains. Nous vous aidons à façonner votre récit et à créer un engouement autour de votre événement. De l’annonce de l’événement à la tenue de celui-ci, nous accompagnons votre effort de planification et le reflétons sur toutes les plateformes médiatiques.​

Formation​ Médiatique


Nous fournissons à vos porte-paroles les outils nécessaires pour présenter vos principaux messages et répondre avec confiance et cohérence aux questions. Notre formation est organisée soit à distance ou en présentiel, avec des études de cas réels et des répétitions. Nos clients repartent avec le sentiment d’être à l’aise devant les journalistes et d’agir en tant qu’ambassadeurs de la marque.

Veille​ Médiatique


Nous mesurons votre portée en relations publiques et rendons compte des informations de votre industrie et des activités de vos  concurrents en surveillant la majorité des canaux de diffusion dans toute l’Afrique. Une veille médiatique complète et opportune est essentielle pour s’assurer que vous ne manquez aucune référence à votre marque, que vous êtes constamment informé de ce qui se passe dans votre industrie et que vous êtes prêt à saisir les opportunités et à réduire les risques en temps opportun.

Relations​ Média


Peu importe le lieu où ils se trouvent, nous sommes une source d‘informations fiables pour les journalistes qui écrivent sur l’Afrique. Nous nous connaissons mutuellement et ils nous font confiance, car nous leur fournissons un contenu crédible qui les aide dans leurs tâches. Nous nous entretenons quotidiennement avec des journalistes aux quatre coins du continent, ce qui fait de nous l’un des organismes les plus efficaces pour mener des campagnes de relations avec les médias.

Stratégie et développement de contenu


Nous créons des stratégies de communication intelligentes, bien documentées et spécialisées destinées à vous aider à construire un récit fort qui engagera votre audience. Nous travaillons en synergie avec vous afin de rédiger des communiqués de presse et des articles d’opinions qui alimentent le récit de votre entreprise. Notre équipe a une expérience approfondie dans la création de récits et le développement de contenu multimédia.

DIFFUSION DE COMMUNIQUES​ DE PRESSE​


C’est le service phare d’AMA. Nous avons mis en place des canaux de diffusion des communiqués de presse auprès des journalistes des 54 États africains ainsi qu’auprès des journalistes américains et européens couvrant les sujets relatifs aux marchés émergents.​

​Nos services comprennent:​

Event Promotion


Half of the success of an event lays in its promotion. Doesn’t matter how beautiful the event is, how wonderful the speakers and the agenda are, if no one reports or talks about your event, your efforts are gone. We help you shape the narrative and create a drumbeat around your event. From the announce all the way to the outcome of the event, we accompany your planning effort and echo it through all media platforms

Media Training


We provide your spokespeople with the tools to present your key messages and answer questions with confidence and coherence. Our training is organised either remotely or face-to- face, with real case studies and rehearsals. Our clients leave feeling comfortable being in front of reporters and acting as brand ambassadors.

Media Monitoring


We measure and report on
your PR reach, industry news, and competitive activity by monitoring most channels in North, West, Central, East and Southern Africa. Comprehensive and timely media monitoring is critical to ensuring that you don’t miss any reporting of your brand,
you’re constantly informed on what’s going on around your business, and you’re ready to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate
risks in a timely fashion..

Media Relations


We have become an authoritative source of news for reporters writing about Africa, wherever they are. We know them, they know us, and they trust us for providing them with timely and accurate content that helps them do their job. We speak to reporters on a daily basis in all corners of the continent and this makes us one of the most effective agencies in running media relations campaigns.

Strategy & Content Development


We create smart and localised communications strategies to help build a strong narrative that will engage your audiences. We partner with you to create press releases and thought leadership pieces that sustain a drumbeat for your company’s narrative. Our team have deep experience in shaping narratives and developing media content.

PRESS RELEASE WIRE DISTRIBUTION

This is AMA’s flagship service. We have set up channels of distribution towards the journalists of the 54 African states, as well as to American journalists and European journalists covering emerging markets issues.
Our service includes:

Editorial advice

Localised editorial piece when needed

Distribution to the major print, broadcast and online publications along with industry-specific publications

Follow-up calls to secure interview request

Guaranteed distribution to Africa.com

Distribution to Bloomberg, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters

Social Media Reach: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Full online monitoring and print monitoring when available. Includesreadership stats and Advertising Value Equivalent

Translation in French, Arabic and Portuguese available