Coventry University has unveiled a £500,000 scholarship offer for international students and announced the establishment of the Africa Institute for Transformational Entrepreneurship (AITE), which aims to boost socio-economic development across the African continent.
The announcements come as the university’s vice-chancellor and CEO, Professor John Latham, visits Abuja to meet with Coventry’s alumni in Nigeria and explore ways to continue building links between Coventry University and Africa.
In addition to highlighting the scholarship awards – which are detailed at www.coventry.ac.uk – Professor Latham will raise awareness of the new AITE, which seeks to promote transformational entrepreneurship in Africa through education, research and practice-based activity. The institute has been established on the premise that African universities – through the promotion of enterprise and entrepreneurship – have a pivotal role to play in the overall development of Africa.
“African tertiary education should be designed to address the continent’s specific problems. Entrepreneurship-based education and research in Africa’s institutions of higher learning can help address the issues of unemployment and inequality for sustainable socio-economic growth in Africa.” said Prof. John Latham
Coventry University aims to contribute to all areas of Africa’s development as a founding member of AITE. In collaboration with partners, the AAUand the British Council, Coventry University will run a collaborative programme of education, research and practice-based activity. AITE programmes will include interactive sessions, face-to-face workshops, research exchanges and online support channelled through its existing International Centre for Transformational Entrepreneurship (ICTE).
“We’re enormously excited to be launching this initiative and we’re confident it will make a difference in driving forward innovation and supporting wealth creation in an African continent that is fast coming to realize its enterprising spirit and potential for socio-economic growth.”, added Professor John Latham
“It’s also a pleasure to be extending our scholarships to prospective students in Nigeria,” said Professor Latham. “I visited Nigeria earlier this year, and was honoured to meet a lot of Coventry graduates, together with the parents of current students. The graduates I met were able to update us on their careers since leaving the University, and I’m pleased to say all had gone on to be very successful in their particular areas of work. It’s fantastic to be back in Abuja and to be continuing to build on our strong links in this lively and enterprising country.”
SA students graduate from SAP Skills for Africa programme
SAP Africa has announced the successful graduation of all 75 South African students from its SAP Skills for Africa job creation initiative. The South African chapter of the SAP Skills for Africa initiative was announced four months ago and forms an integral part of SAP Africa’s commitment to train ICT consultants across the continent.
The successful graduation today of all 75 South African students follows the first group of graduates from Kenya who completed the SAP Skills for Africa training certification in 2013 and 2014, as well as in Morocco in 2015.
The South African programme represents collaboration between SAP Africa and local SAP customers and partners, including Accenture, ATOS, Britehouse, BMW, Consnet, Gauteng Provincial Government, Multichoice, Tata Consulting Services, T-Systems and MICT SETA, all of whom share a unified mission to promote economic growth and sustainable job creation.
“We are committed to work with the private sector to increase the pool of ICT professionals who have the requisite skills to enable us to deliver high quality e-government services to the Gauteng City Region. This partnership represents an important step in the right direction for us as we move to train and empower half a million young people across our province over the next five years and achieve the objectives of Gauteng Tshepo 500 000, which is a bold employment and entrepreneurial programme of Premier David Makhura,” said Barbara Creecy, MEC for Treasury and E-Government.
A total of 19 graduates from the SAP Skills for Africa initiative joined the Department of E-Government as interns at the beginning of this month. They will spend the next 12 months working alongside the professional staff of the provincial government in the configuration, customisation and support activities of the SAP System functions in all departments.
“These students have been afforded a rare opportunity to kick-start long and fruitful careers in a global growth space. As an SAP partner and company that’s been fully immersed in the process, we are fortunate enough to snap up some of this talent. We’re excited by what the future holds and the impact these students will have on Britehouse and the industry. It won’t take long for these rising stars to become shining stars,” said Themba Chakela, General Manager, Group Organisational Effectiveness at Britehouse.
“The value of the SAP Skills for Africa programme is that every student who has successfully completed their studies will go on to internships with SAP partners and customers involved in the initiative,” says Brett Parker, Managing Director at SAP Africa.
“SAP is still committed to driving business right across Africa, with the ultimate objective of improving people’s lives through the deployment of innovative industry-specific software solutions. This is not possible without developing the right skills and creating the right jobs in the communities in which we do business,” he added.
The SAP Skills for Africa Scholarship Programme training takes place over a period of ten to twelve weeks and comprises a hybrid approach of classroom and e-learning fully-sponsored by SAP with no cost to the students. The course focuses on internationally recognised IT and business skills.
GE Provides $100,000 Grants to University of Ghana Students
Students of the University of Ghana studying B.sc Applied Sciences could have their tuition fully paid until they complete their studies. Thanks to global infrastructure leader General Electric which announced this during a meeting with the Management of the University of Ghana led by the Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Kwame Offei. To this end, the University of Ghana and GE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The $100,000 scholarship is part of a broader collaboration between GE and tertiary institutions in Ghana on capacity development.
GE Ghana CEO Mr Leslie Nelson said the gesture validates GE’s commitment to human capital development and localising its operations in the country. According to Mr Nelson, training, building skills and technology transfer are key ingredients of GE’s localisation strategy in Ghana and everywhere it engages in business. “Our localization plan also includes technology collaboration, development of Ghanaian suppliers and investment in human capacity,” said Mr. Nelson.Mr. Nelson also disclosed plans to provide Oil and Gas scholarships for Ghanaians, training both locally and internationally at GE’s Oil and Gas University in Houston, Texas, Florence, Italy, Aberdeen and Scotland. The scholarship will target students from the Science and Engineering departments.
On his part the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana Professor Kwame Offei said he was very excited about the scholarship award which he said will go a long way in building a stronger human capital base for Ghana. He invited other multinational companies in Ghana to extend similar financial assistance to develop the needed human resource through the universities. According to Professor Offei, “human capital remains the most vital resource that any organisation can have and we are glad that GE is placing a great premium on that”. Professor Offei said the University of Ghana will continue to create the enabling environment for academic excellence in the institution.
Students who would benefit from this award include those studying Applied Science courses like Geo-sciences, Environmental Earth Science, Petroleum Geoscience, Engineering Geology, Hydrogeology and Mineral Exploration.
GE is the world’s leading technology and financial services company, with over $140 billion in annual revenue. In Ghana GE operates in the Power & Water, Oil &Gas and Healthcare businesses and has grown its operations by more than five-fold since 2010.
Digital skills academy to address IT skills shortfall in SA
KPMG South Africa has signed an industry partner agreement with international educator Digital Skills Academy, in a move set to boost high-end practical IT skills among South African participants.
Aiming to help address the local IT skills shortfall, particularly the lack of hands-on experience, the partnership will see participants studying for Digital Skills Academy’s International BSc Honours Degree in Digital Skills gaining real life experience through collaboration with the Johannesburg office of KPMG.
Participants will work with cross-functional international teams of coders, managers, marketers, sales professionals and designers on industry partner projects proposed by KPMG.
The agreement will support the development of digital products and services including the development of mobile apps, websites and web services, software development, digital marketing and social media campaigns or prototype development.
Paul Dunne, CEO and founder of the Digital Skills Academy, said: “The partnership with KPMG is the first of a number similar arrangements we will be announcing in South Africa and illustrates our desire to work alongside globally recognised corporate brands so that we are able to offer the very best in cutting edge experience to our degree participants. It is a reflection of all the great things happening at the moment in South Africa’s tech scene and we look forward to being a part of its continuing success by helping to internationalise the country’s offering.”
Heidi Volschenk, Partner at KPMG South Africa in Johannesburg, said: “We aim to develop skillsets in the digital space in tandem with the Digital Skills Academy team, in the context of both the professional services environment and in terms of the more general international trends in the digital technology and digital business sectors.”
Digital Skills Academy’s pioneering International BSc programme incorporates industry engagement with organisations like KPMG in order to offer participants the opportunity to work on real world projects and to produce industry-optimised graduates.
The degree programmes are primarily aimed at corporates who want to up-skill staff, people currently employed in other fields looking to secure positions in the digital technology sector, and graduates who are looking to improve their career prospects. While a handful of similarly pioneering ‘on campus’ degrees exist, the Digital Skills Academy programme is the first of its kind to employ online eLearning delivery, making it available globally.
The one year, part-time and online course – the International BSc (Honours) in Digital Technology, Design and Innovation – is accredited by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and facilitates work in international teams on real world projects via virtual platforms. With an emphasis on multidisciplinary teaching by respected industry leaders, participants have the opportunity to acquire a comprehensive understanding of modern digital business and in-demand digital technology skills.