As one of the three work packages for the larger University of Edinburgh Mastercard Foundation project, this project will create practitioner networks and digital capacity building for universities in Sub-Saharan Africa particularly for greater inclusion of those traditionally underrepresented in higher education: women, forcibly displaced populations, and those with disabilities.
The role that digital education plays and might continue to play in providing access to higher education for traditionally marginalized groups throughout sub-Saharan Africa is both promising and predicated on a complex assembly of contexts. No single approach to digital education will effectively scale in the manner intended and will potentially exacerbate the marginalization that these groups experience. What does scale, however, are the multiplier effects of the education itself: representatives from participating universities will study on the MSc in Digital Education, and further that education in dedicated cohorts designed to translate their critical experiences on the programme into tangible policy, strategy, and practice instruments for their institutions. These students will act as ambassadors for others in their communities and their institutions both in their subject matter expertise but also in their capacity to navigate the vast array of online education that is on offer.
There will be three cohorts of institutions participating in this project. Each cohort will be drawn from a different geographical region of the continent and will be comprised of a mix of those universities already in the Mastercard Foundation network and those that aren’t. Each cohort will contain 12 scholarship students drawn from these institutions who will strive to complete the programme in 2 years, disseminate their learnings into the Mastercard Foundation network, and begin to advocate for meaningful digital inclusion at their respective universities.