Mastercard Foundation, United States International University-Africa and partner of Arizona State University


TORONTO, Canada: – / African Media Agency (AMA) / – Today the Mastercard Foundation, United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) and Arizona State University (ASU) announced the launch of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program e-Learning Initiative, which over the next five years will enable more than 600,000 university students to successfully pursue their studies online, across Africa.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many universities, including those in the Scholars Program network, to suspend face-to-face classes and turn to online learning. Building on what has been learned during the disruption, this initiative will increase the investments that have already been made and strengthen the existing capacity of university partners to deliver high quality, relevant and inclusive online courses. It will increase the number of young people entering higher education, especially those living with disabilities, young women, refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and those living in rural areas. More than that, it will contribute to an online learning community of practice in Africa, and beyond, which will enable collaborative learning and the sharing of best practices and resources.

“This agreement will strengthen our capacity building for e-learning alongside 10 other participating international universities and strengthen the Scholars program partner universities to offer high quality and inclusive online education and provide virtual support to all students” , said Professor Freida Brown, Acting Vice-President. Chancellor, USIU-Africa. “It will also support the development of an e-learning community of practice. During the first phase of the program (2020 to 2022), 135 teachers and staff from 10 partner institutions will be trained to design and deliver online courses, and around 95,000 students will have access to online learning. In the second phase (2022-2025), the number of online learners will increase to over 600,000 and the initiative will be expanded to include new partners and institutions that are not currently part of the Scholars program network.

Arizona State University (ASU), a leader in the field of online learning, will serve as the lead trainer, providing basic training for faculty and staff and hosting a series of panel discussions and learning sessions. on leadership at multiple levels. As a network facilitator, USIU-Africa, which was one of the first institutions in East Africa to successfully transition 90% of its programming online, will contextualize the content for an African context and will facilitate engagement and learning across the network. The Mastercard Foundation Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning will play a key role in hosting a shared content management system that will organize content from participating universities within the partner network. The Center will also provide support to institutions interested in developing internal e-learning resource centers.

“Arizona State University is not bound by geography, but by principle,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Our goal is student success and the adoption of technology to expand not only the quality of learning, but also access to education and therefore our adoption of digital education. We look forward to taking our work to a new level as part of this collaboration with USIU-Africa and the Mastercard Foundation to create e-learning systems in Africa that are resilient to future shocks and tailored to meet the individual needs of students. learners, anywhere on the continent. ”An instructor reviews an online STEM course designed by the University of Rwanda and AIMS as part of Leaders in Teaching. The program’s e-learning initiative Mastercard Foundation Scholars trains instructors from participating universities to effectively teach virtual learners.

The initiative is aligned with the Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy and the vision of the Mastercard Foundation scholarship program to create a transformative network of young people and institutions fostering inclusive and equitable socio-economic change in Africa. This initiative will connect young people with relevant and context-specific educational content through a curriculum that reflects labor market realities, includes courses in transformative leadership and ethics, and prioritizes mental health and goodness. -to be. Students will successfully acquire knowledge and be able to fully engage with faculty and course work in a supportive online environment.

COVID-19 has provided the impetus to rethink the way we conceptualize and deliver education. “Digital learning is the wave of the future,” said Philip Cotton, Director, Human Capital Development, Mastercard Foundation. “But for everyone to benefit from this trend, we need to act now to ensure that all young people – regardless of their background or location – can access work-relevant training in a convenient and affordable way. A big part of this is building the capacity of higher education institutions to offer online learning. Since the start of the training in July 2021, the 135 e-learning champions have started their learning journey by completing the two-week virtual Master Class for e-learning with ASU and have moved on to the phase following, which includes specialized coaching tracks in instructional design and online. Pedagogy with USIU-Africa.

The partners participating in the first phase of the online learning initiative of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars program are: 1. African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)

2. American University of Beirut

3. Ashesi University

4. EARTH University

5. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)

6. Makerere University

7. United States-Africa International University

8. University of Abomey-Calavi

9. University of Gondar

10. University of Rwanda


Distributed by African Media Agency on behalf of the Mastercard Foundation.

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest private foundations in the world whose mission is to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was established by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own board of directors and management. For more information about the Foundation, please visit:

About USIU-Africa

USIU-Africa is one of Kenya’s leading private universities, representing over 70 nationalities and undertaking 35 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. It is the only university in the region with dual accreditation in Kenya by the Commission for University Education (CUE) and in the United States of America (USA) by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) https: // www .ke /

About Arizona State University

ASU is continually recognized as a leader in innovation and digital education. The university has been ranked # 1 among all U.S. Colleges & Universities for Innovation by US News & World Report for the past six years. Additionally, ASU ranks 6th out of the top 353 online bachelor’s programs in the United States and surpasses the programs of the top five schools combined (US News & World Report). EdPlus, the central business unit of the university focused on the design and scalable delivery of digital teaching and learning models to increase student success and reduce barriers to success in higher education, has developed over 200 fully online degrees, from software engineering and biological sciences to political science. and business.

Media contacts
United States-Africa International University
Taigu Muchiri, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager – External Communications
M: + 254-730 116 585
E: [email protected]

Arizona State University
Jay Thorne, Assistant Vice-President, Media Relations and Strategic Communications
M: + 1-602-677-7518
E: [email protected]

Mastercard Foundation
Tonya Reid, Associate, Fellows Program Communications
M: + 1-437-992-3432
E: [email protected]

© Press release 2021


Norma A. Roth