Major milestone for African Leadership College

10 March 2017

More than 170 students have now progressed onto GCU-led undergraduate honours degree programmes.

More than 170 students have now progressed onto GCU-led undergraduate honours degree programmes.

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has reached a milestone in a ground-breaking initiative to develop a new generation of ethical leaders across Africa.

The University is the founding academic partner of the African Leadership College (ALC) which has based itself in Mauritius, a safe, stable country off the coast of Africa, with a democratic government aiming to establish the country as an education hub for Africa.

The initiative, launched in March last year, is a pioneering educational programme which brings together students from around 30 African countries.

ALC Mauritius is the first in a network of African higher education institutions planned by ALU, adopting new and innovative approaches to higher education, closely linked with employers from across the globe. Its Ambassador Chancellor is Dr Graça Machel, former First Lady of Mozambique and South Africa.

GCU is delivering programmes at ALC to develop leadership and entrepreneurial thinking, creating graduates with the knowledge and skills to help shape the future success of the continent and address significant skills shortages in key areas.

More than 170 students have now progressed onto GCU-led undergraduate honours degree programmes following completion of their leadership, innovation and ethics-focused foundation year.

The ALC students were met by their GCU counterparts, including Student President Lauren Ramage, who had travelled to Mauritius to gain an understanding of life and study in Africa.

Lauren said: “The aim of the study trip was to establish a partnership between both GCU and ALC students, so that future and further long-term exchanges can occur between each institution. It was, without doubt, the most incredible and inspirational week of my life and I hope myself and the GCU students can continue this fantastic partnership.”

Students at the ALC are currently completing programmes in: BA (Hons) Business Management; BSc (Hons) Computing; MEng Electrical Power Systems Engineering and BA (Hons) Social Science.

Each year incorporates a four-month internship with an employer partner such as IBM, Thomson Reuters and Price Waterhouse Coopers to ensure employability skills are developed and embedded for all students.

Fred Swaniker, African Leadership College Founder & CEO, said: “We are proud of the stellar performance of the first cohort of the ALC and excited to see them commence their undergraduate honours degree programmes, facilitated by GCU.

“Our multi-disciplinary approach encourages students to select their academic path relative to their career plans, and we now look forward to the next phase.”

Professor Valerie Webster, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, said: “As the founding academic partner of ALC, GCU is proud to be involved in educating a new generation of ethical leaders for the African continent.

“The success of the partnership so far is testament to the commitment of all involved staff who have embraced the vision for the partnership and GCU’s ethos of ‘the University for the Common Good’. I am equally delighted to see that the partnership is already beginning to inspire our own GCU students.”

The eight GCU undergraduate students, who joined Lauren at the ALC, were selected via a competitive application process and backed by GCU’s Common Good fund, which supports mobility.

BA Social Sciences student Jayde Marie O’Connor was among the group. She said: “The trip to Mauritius made me realise that many issues are the same cross-culturally and that we are all humans with basic functions and needs, regardless of language and culture. Without being given a scholarship, the chance to study somewhere like Mauritius would never have been accessible to someone from my socioeconomic status.”