Motivations and Aspirations that Drive Learners to Engage in Certificate Programs; Case Study CMU-Africa.

Online learning has grown significantly across Africa in recent years as Internet access improves to complement traditional higher education, where educational institutions look for new ways to overcome infrastructure constraints to serve growing numbers of students. The forced closure of schools, universities and colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote working accelerated the appreciation and adoption of online learning.

While university curricula and teaching processes struggle to identify current skills needed for Africa’s transition to a digital economy, learners want to learn the new skills immediately to compete with their peers globally. To address this urgent need, CMUAfrica is developing online certification programs in artificial intelligence and machine learning, which target African graduates with bachelor’s degrees in engineering and ICT fields.

We Knowledge Consulting Ltd. (KCL) undertook this research to inform CMU-Africa about the motivations and aspirations that drive learners to engage in such certificate programs and to inform program design strategies and approaches that will help maximize learner enrolment, engagement and completion.

The sources of information and data include research literature and published reports; interviews with stakeholders involved in designing, delivering and managing online programs; and an online survey of recent and soon-to-be graduates from African universities.

The findings, insights and recommendations from this study are of general application. They can be used by any institution wishing to deliver online postgraduate certificate programs in the African context.

Find the research page below.