•When the pandemic struck last year, more countries introduced tighter restrictions including lockdowns to tackle the spread and rising death toll from the coronavirus.
•As a result, key sectors including education took a hit from such interventions.
Kenya is forecast to be among the top leading markets in the EAC region for investments in total tertiary enrolments, making it exceptionally fertile ground for student recruitment.
Globally, higher education – and particularly the ‘study-abroad’ concept, has made enormous advances, in particular with a view to expansion of access, despite the existing challenges triggered by Covid-19.
However, there is an unaddressed reform agenda locally and given the crucial role the sector plays for equal, innovation—based and cohesive societies, this has become a pressing problem – but investors are seeing opportunities.
The International University Pathways College (IUPC) – a multimillion learning institution in Nairobi, for instance, is eying the growing number of prospective international students with the unveiling of a Kenyan outlet that offers pre-university programs.
The institution’s Academic Manager, Tom Olang,said the Nairobi-based satellite will fundamentally target learners seeking higher education and degree courses from renowned global universities.
“This is a foundation program that offers a pathway which students can follow to start their undergraduate programs abroad and we are doing this in collaboration with our partner universities. We target students who have done year 11 and A-levels, as well as those with KCSE training and want to move overseas,” noted Olang .
IUPC’s recent launch coincided with the rapid increase in confirmed cases and deaths from Covid in key destination countries for internationally mobile students such as the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States.
“When Covid-19 hit, it became difficult for students to transit abroad and there was a challenge with quarantine, online learning, so that became a big problem for most parents. But those bottlenecks birthed the motivation to launch here in Kenya,” said Olang.
When the pandemic hit last year, more countries introduced tighter restrictions including lockdowns to tackle the spread and rising death toll from the coronavirus.
As a result, key sectors including education took a hit from such interventions – meaning the majority of learners were forced to change their study abroad plans with flight travels not an option.
“We are seeing a growing interest and requests with over 70 students having expressed plans to enroll just weeks after our official launch,” he said.
IUPC aims to specialise in International Foundation Year (IFY) in aggregation with the Northern Consortium of UK universities (NCUK).
NCUK undergraduate degree pathway qualifications are designed exclusively for international students with over 45 university partners across the globe.
“Our students can choose to study thousands of degree courses and progress to universities in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, Canada and USA and our dedicated student support team will help you through your entire university application journey,” he says, adding that students are guaranteed admission in those partner campuses.
Olang further said that the affordable costs of study singles out the institution as a go-to place for such programs.
The curriculum calendar lasts a minimum of 30 weeks – with a semester each lasting 15 weeks or 9 months for the entire foundation course.
“The cost-effectiveness comes in terms of doing the foundation. You need between Sh3 to Sh4million to do it abroad for the one year program, while it will only cost you about Sh1.1million to pursue the same program here,” he said, adding that the institution aims to partner with like-minded establishments to meet that demand.
The vision of the college is to create a globally-connected institution in business, sciences, humanities, art and design and innovation, tackling 21st-century challenges and opportunities and developing future leaders and managers.