Immersion Training In Senegal: Leading Global Innovation In Higher Education

Immersion Training In Senegal: Leading Global Innovation In Higher Education
First Bootcamp in Dakar, Senegal, organized by EPFL, ESP, and EDACY. 3 Days of working on prototypes based on Behavioral Design, UX Design, and Human Centered Design.
Summary: After a highly selective and intensive 4-months preparation (January to April), the first 20 talents of FAST (Fast-track Acquisition of Skills Training in Technology, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship) are now ready to be immersed at leading enterprises in Senegal.

Immersion Training In Senegal: An Innovative Program

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 Courses (MOOCs) with the 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 (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland) and ESP (Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique de Dakar, Senegal), 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 Students

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 before immersion (May), 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..

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).

We, at EDACY, hope to help young graduates reach their potential and turn into fully skilled innovators, ready to take on workplace challenges. Simultaneously we want to be the place for enterprises to find the right profiles for the talents they need to grow their business and become even more successful.

EDACYs second cohort in Software Leadership in Senegal has started since 16th of June 2017. There are about 500 students that are now studying online academic courses and take quizzes on the newly deployed application for learning at EDACY. The process will remain the same and will filter the best talents possible, resulting in a new selection of young Edacians (how we proudly call our final selection of talents) that will be ready to enter the apprenticeship at enterprises in November 2017.

Mission And Vision

We believe that African youths should have the opportunity to realize their full potential at home. We want to give them the power to develop their skills without barriers and be the place where they come to learn and grow.

We equip young people with life-changing skills that help them thrive. We believe that we exist to create a permanent change in the way young people learn and acquire skills, so to prepare them for the real-world challenges of a modern society. We want to bring EDACY to the world, where our graduates are true game-changers — transforming their own lives and impacting millions of people.