World in View: Growing Post-secondary Education Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Thursday, February 25, 2021
  • 12:00 PM- 1:00 PM
  • Zoom link will be provided

A discussion led by Dr. Carleen Maitland (Penn State) and Dr. Timothy Brown (Carnegie Mellon Africa in Kigali, Rwanda)

While sub-Saharan Africa has made great strides in expanding secondary education systems, a significant bottleneck exists at the post-secondary level. The bottleneck is the result of a growing middle class, having tripled over the past 14 years, wherein families increasingly can afford the cost of college. For example, in Nigeria, less than 40% of applicants are admitted to any university. As a result, an estimated one million students are left with few opportunities for post-secondary education.

What is the future of post-secondary education in Africa? What does it take to build a post-secondary education system? In this discussion, students will be asked to reflect on what post-secondary education means to them. Given the rapid uptake of online education, not only by today’s university students, but also those in lower-level educational systems (future college students), what role could or should online education play? What are the business models of post-secondary education, whether in-residence or online?

In this discussion, Drs. Brown and Maitland will draw on their experience in higher education and research administration. Dr. Brown will reflect on his experience helping to develop Carnegie Mellon’s Africa campus and program. This experience includes managing the construction of a new campus at a time where online programs are growing in popularity. Dr. Maitland will draw on her experience fostering university research programs gained while serving as a program officer in the U.S. National Science Foundation’s International Office.

Dr. Carleen Maitland is Associate Professor of IST, with a Ph.D. in Economics from the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands. Her research focuses on information and communication technologies in development (ICTD) with a focus on refugee crises. She leads a project funded by the National Science Foundation’s program International Research Experiences for Students (IRES), which supports her ongoing collaboration with Dr. Brown.

Dr. Timothy Brown is an honors program and B.S. Physics alumnus of Penn State University, with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from CalTech. At Carnegie Mellon Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, he is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of Academics, responsible for building programs for the University’s master’s programs and conducting research with Rwandan scientists through the Kigali Collaborative Research Consortium (KCRC).

Please note: Registration for events in this series is required and, given the topics and speakers, we anticipate interest to be high. For this reason, each event is limited to 25 Scholars and early registration is strongly encouraged. Participants of each event will also receive a complimentary electronic gift card.

Event Contact

Sarah Lyall-Combs
Schreyer Scholar Annie Liu

I was looking at a lot of other big schools, and they were all places where I could’ve done my double major in music and science. When I got into Schreyer, however, I realized I wouldn’t have all these opportunities provided here at other schools, and that really elevated Penn State for me.

Annie Liu ' 21 Biology

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