Carnegie Foundation to Partner With the African Leadership University to Establish a Postsecondary Hub

December 1, 2021

ALU students will work and study in Silicon Valley

Today, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announces its partnership with the African Leadership University to establish a hub for ALU in Silicon Valley. Starting in June 2022, this program will bring students from the United States and ALU—a pan-African university system with campuses in Mauritius and Rwanda—to work and study in Silicon Valley.

“The African Leadership University has established a new standard for postsecondary education,” says Carnegie President Timothy Knowles. “The program is rigorous, affordable, experiential, career aligned, and scalable. Most important, it develops ethical, entrepreneurial leaders, dedicated to addressing the world’s most complex and important challenges.”

ALU studentsFounded by Ghanaian educational entrepreneur and Stanford graduate Fred Swaniker, ALU was created as an institution with the vision of educating and developing 3 million future African leaders by 2035. While ALU’s efforts have been successful, Africa has largely remained on the sidelines of the global economy. The Carnegie-ALU hub in Silicon Valley is a borderless collaboration designed to foster mutually beneficial innovation. The two organizations will bring together American students from underrepresented communities with their African counterparts to create a pipeline of exceptional American and African students into the type of wealth-generating and purposeful careers offered by the technology and financial services sectors.

“We’re excited to partner with The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which has been at the forefront of defining best practices in teaching and learning across the globe for decades,” says ALU CEO Fred Swaniker. “With our combined efforts, the ALU hub in Silicon Valley will enable our students to gain hands-on experience with technology companies and be exposed to the region’s overall spirit of innovation and disruption. Spending time in Silicon Valley will accelerate our students’ ability to solve Africa’s grand challenges and capture its greatest opportunities.”

Carnegie will also look to ALU’s learning model that seeks excellence and impact at scale, as part of its wider work focused on postsecondary innovation. “While a postsecondary degree remains an essential precursor to entering a professional career, it is elusive to many, especially students from for historically marginalized populations. Even those who do graduate often enter the job market saddled with excessive debt, preventing them from building generational wealth instrumental to economic mobility,” says Knowles. Carnegie will work with ALU to leverage its expertise, assets, partnerships, convening power, and social and reputational capital to address long-standing educational inequities that impede economic mobility and exacerbate racial inequality.

“We see a tremendous opportunity to collaborate with Carnegie to define a new model of higher education for the U.S.” says Swaniker. “Most observers agree that the U.S. higher education sector (and higher ed globally) is in need of transformation. Today, it costs too much, takes too long, and is increasingly inaccessible to those who need it the most. The ALU model offers a blueprint for how world-class higher education can be delivered at scale and at low cost. In collaboration with Carnegie, we will capture the key tenets of our innovative model and share that with U.S. higher educational institutions as they search for new models of excellence, sustainability, and equity.”

“It is a great privilege to work in partnership with Fred Swaniker and the ALU team, and to bring such an important educational model to the United States,” says Knowles.

About the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
The mission of the Foundation is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life.

About the African Leadership University
ALU provides higher education for a higher purpose. Our students declare missions, not majors. They develop the real-world skills to take on the world’s most pressing challenges. And they take ownership of their learning from day one through our peer and student-led approach—because ALU believes in the power and agency of young people to start shaping the future right now. Together, with a world-class faculty and staff, our students are igniting a ripple of positive impact across Africa and the world.