Senegal leads Global Innovation in Higher Education
After a highly selective and intensive 4-months preparation the first 20 talents of Fast-track Acquisition of Skills Training -- in Technology, Engineering, Entrepreneurship) are now ready to be immersed at leading enterprises in Senegal.
On the eve of entering immersion, talents describe EDACY as, "the place to fulfill their dreams" (M. Amar) and "a program that has taught in 3 days what would take a year to learn" (A. Nobime).
Each year, about 1 million African graduates enter the job market without the prospect of viable employment. Yet, millions of IT and engineering jobs remain unfilled. EDACY aims to bridge the job-skills gap created by an insufficient education system.
The status-quo of education is challenged by combining Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) with Swiss dual-education model to accelerate skills in engineering and information technology. A unique program where top universities and employers work together to produce skilled innovators that are employable in the workplace or can launch their own ventures.
EDACY, with EPFL and ESP, started its first FAST Program in Senegal in December 2016 to address the technology talent shortage and graduate unemployment through a Software Leadership program. Over 700 students subscribed, 35 eventually made it to the final exam and subsequent bootcamp, and 20 are now being placed in full-time immersion within enterprises to learn advanced technical skills on the job, with academic supervision.
The 6-months full time immersion training at enterprises will enable students to work on dedicated company projects while following technical and life skills training in classes once a week at ESP. In addition, 20 online mentors (representing 14 countries) are paired with each talent to further help them with personal development during this period. Immersion learning will therefore set the first dual education pilot of its kind in Francophone Africa, in the field of software leadership.
The selected talents are predominantly males (90%), aged between 22 to 28 years (95%). 90% are university graduates with at least a Bachelor degree, among which 50% have earned a Master’s degree.
They come from STEM fields (95%), with specifically 75% in ICT. The last weeks the talents were into 76 hours of accelerated learning, as a last screening step prior to immersion. 70% of their training was focused on strengthening technical abilities through daily assignments and coding projects. The remaining 30% was dedicated to interpersonal skills.
On average, there is an increase of 35% for grades before acceleration, compared to grades after the 3 weeks of acceleration. Among partner enterprises that will now immerse talents are Cofina, Gainde2000, SGBS, Neticoa, Wizall, FireFly, EXCAF.
We, at EDACY, hope to help the students reach their potential and turn into fully skilled innovators, ready to take on workplace challenges.