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Life at the African Leadership University
28. January 2018 at 11:52
I have experienced the African Leadership University approach to the 21st Century education in the fast growing innovation hub of Kigali,Rwanda. The unique learning model in ALU have delivered an immersive and a transformative student experience in class and through the ALU Alive programme (ALU, 2016).
I was fortunate to be among the selected few who were accepted to the newly formed African Leadership University in Rwanda mid 2017 (June). When I was writing my application I never imagined I will be accepted because the application process was rigorous and Those who were engaged in applying to the University from all over Africa are the next set of African Leaders. My acceptance came with much to be happy for, I was given the Income Sharing Agreement(ISA). It’s a new way of funding education on the continent which is only practice in ALU.

With all the ups and downs I finally arrived in Rwanda to kickstart my University education in September 2017. I was placed in cohort 5, wherein I was the only Sierra Leonean in the class. I have never been in an environment/place where diversity is practice to the fullest. People of different faiths, culture and beliefs are found on campus but what binds us together is much stronger than the forces trying to pull us apart.Twenty Seven (27) countries in African are represented on campus, ranging from Sierra Leone, Kenya, Liberia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Morocco, Madagascar, Nigeria, Tanzania, Lesotho, Malawi, Botswana, Burundi, Uganda, Somaliland, Ghana, Guinea, Ethiopia, Ivory Cost, Senegal, Togo, Swaziland, Somalia, Gambia, South Sudan and the host Rwanda. With all the different countries we are coming from what binds us together is the drive and the spirit to transform African.

At ALU they resist the pressure to conduct tertiary education the way it has been done (ALU, 2016). They challenge existing beliefs so that we only keep what works and we reimagine the rest(ALU,2016). The mission of the University is to create a more prosperous and peaceful Africa by developing the next generation of ethical and Entrepreneurial African Leaders, they have been preparing us for a successful and meaningful life and career in the 21st century - with a shared vision for a better Africa (ALU,2016). The learning model used is one of it kind, student are encouraged to learn at a peace suitable for them. To be honest I was technologically incline before coming to ALU but now am proud to say am moving with the fast pace technology is driving. My technological skills started growing at ALU and they have developed me in such a short time than I have ever imagined.

The Pan - African experience I’ve gotten has given me the opportunity to network and build relationships with some of the brightest, most passionate and driven peers and leaders in Africa. My coming to Alu is a blessing in disguise, because I’m the past when some Nationals in Africa are mentioned to me, I used to have those negative thinking and perception about them, but with me round them now physically I have experienced the totally opposite of what I had against them in the past. They are exceptionally nice people to be around. The learning environment is so wonderful and conducive and it’s one that enhances education in a fast and friendly way.

The modules I’ve been doing have transformed me from what I used to be before September 2017. I started knowing myself with each passing day. I started behaving in such a humanly manner and am proud to say all that happened because of the approach ALU are using both in and out of class.

What I love most is the Student Venture Program (SVP) on campus. It’s a platform that challenges students to bring solutions to pressing issues on the continent. I was fortunate to participate on the Hult Prize on Campus at ALU even though I did not make it final 3, but am proud I took Part during that wonderful program. Students are encouraged to start planning for life after University, I remember we were given the task to come up with solutions for the Kigali Housing Crisis. I wondered where must I start then something came to my mind that they are preparing to be a good graduate( one that can solve issues not one with just the degree). We brought up possible solutions, where in we presented before some dignitaries who were invited in Campus to witness as we present the research and solutions we have brought up. But of all the presentations we have done the one that will for ever live with me is the one we did for Girl Districts, where in they are planning to expand to another country in the continent. This was the toughest and the one that took most of my time, but mostly the work is not done along. For each module we have our Peer Groups that work hand in hand , and during the end of each unit we grade ourselves(Peer Grades) based on the effort we put in our peer groups(be it in research, presentations, peer meetings etc). And those grades counts for the total grades for the year. We have different clubs on campus ranging from football, basketball, etc.

At the end of the month we have a program as a family that brings all ALU students together where in we discuss the things that have been going on on campus and a country that is fortunate will win what we call THE COUNTRY OF THE MONTH, they will be opportune to share with all of us there culture and things about there country. We have culture series frequently also, were in its forcused on enlightening our classmates about our culture, beliefs and heritage. The University uses technology for almost everything we do. Our class work is done online, assignments are done online which is developing us at a steady pace to face the real world after University. With ALU Africa will be experiencing the drive In economic development, good governance, peace and stability, and during this time the term Africa Rising will be experienced in reality.
Cite This Article As: Jeremiah Thoronka. "Life at the African Leadership University." International Youth Journal, 28. January 2018.

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