US-based distance learning institution, Nexford University, has announced its expansion into East Africa with a focus on Kenya. The move is aimed at addressing skill and capacity shortages in higher education and providing African students with an opportunity to prepare for the future of work and access the global grid of remote employment.
Nexford University aims to partner with employers and local universities to provide Kenyan youth with the skills they need to qualify for local and remote jobs. It has already partnered with the Federation of Kenya Employers to analyze the country's skill shortages and is exploring collaboration with local universities like Zetech University and Riara University to offer additional online programs.
The expansion into East Africa follows a growing number of students from countries like Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa enrolling in Nexford University. The university offers US-accredited online degrees across the world and seeks to raise awareness of the benefits of online education for Africans, providing a viable alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar institutions.
Kenya's economy is growing, and the country is committed to digital transformation. However, the shortage of places in traditional universities, as well as an increase in university fees and limits on public funding, have made online education a compelling option for students, especially those who may not be eligible for public funding.
To facilitate its expansion, Nexford has recruited Laila Macharia, a lawyer from the region and non-executive director of ABSA bank, as its senior advisor for East Africa. With this move, Nexford University hopes to help shift the brain drain to brain capital by providing students with opportunities to build the skills they need to succeed in today's workforce.
Article by Jedidah Mwangi