GCU helps Africa's future leaders

Fri, 07 Jun 2019 11:01:00 BST

Africa's next generation of future leaders could be among the first students to graduate with degrees from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in Mauritius next week.

The University is the academic partner of the African Leadership College, a pioneering venture created by the entrepreneur Fred Swaniker with the aim of transforming leadership in the world's fastest growing continent. The graduation ceremony marks the coming of age of the College, which now has hundreds of students enrolled in degree programmes accredited by GCU.

Welcoming the milestone, the University’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE said: “We are immensely proud of our founding class of 78 graduates graduating in 2019. Over the past four years, our students, drawn from across Africa, have done exceptionally well in their studies in Mauritius and they can look forward to a bright future. As the University of the Common Good, Glasgow Caledonian University has a strong commitment to ethical leadership and our partnership is part of our global network delivering our mission for a sustainable future.

“Working with leaders such as the African Leadership University’s Chancellor, Graça Machel and Fred Swaniker has been a privilege and honour. We share the aim of delivering equitable and sustainable development through education and have supported their creation of a new College for leadership and academic learning. To do this we have combined our expertise in higher education with degree programmes which are delivered locally within an African context and relevant to African experience and perspective.”

Simiso Shabangu, from Eswatini, will be an inaugural Graduating Class Speaker. She said: "GCU has given us the theory that has enabled us to better make sense of our everyday surroundings. It has also taught us the true meaning of growth and continuous learning. There's no better way to explain growth than looking at our journey from our first submission to our dissertations."

Theodore Sutherland, Head of College at ALC, said: "We could not have accomplished this milestone of graduating our first class of students without the active support and advice of GCU. We are deeply proud of the students' academic achievements and the incredible leadership growth they have experienced through our programme and can't wait to see their impact on the world beyond ALC."

The ceremony on the ALC's state of the art campus in Mauritius, on June 12, will see the Principal joining ALC Chancellor Graça Machel and Fred Swaniker to congratulate the first graduates in Business Management and Social Science on receiving their degrees. They will be joined in February next year by the first graduates in Computing Science.

The partnership involves academics in Glasgow overseeing the curriculum in Mauritius, and supporting course delivery by local tutors through distance learning with occasional visits to teach classes on site.

Over the past four years, students in both Glasgow and Mauritius have also benefitted from exchange opportunities to visit each other campus, partly supported with funding raised by the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation.