Improving Access to Executive Education in Africa

Improving Access to Executive Education in Africa

We are always working towards  improving access to executive eduction in Africa. Making our executive education short courses more accessible to a broader audience benefits everyone and ensures that more organsiations are guided by leaders with vision, the right skills and the insight they need in a post pandemic, 21st century organisation. There is a rising demand for leaders in Africa, and we’ve been focusing our efforts on this demographic for the past few years. Moreover, the popularity of our virtual classes has demonstrated to us a new method of expanding the reach of our Executive Education.improving access to executive eduction in Africa

Business schools accross the world has had to addapt quickly since 2020 when the world changed. Many other aspects of life were affected by the epidemic. Uncertain supply chains, worker safety, and unexpected adjustments in customer behaviour have (and continue to be) major challenges for businesses. Even before 2020, the corporate landscape was in flux. Various factors, such as globalisation, new technology, and climate change, were already causing havoc in the industry.

Business executives are confronted with new obstacles on a daily basis, and the pandemic was only one of many. To succeed in the modern world, today’s leaders must be constantly educated. Its easy to agree that there will always be room for improvement. However, we must allow people to offer us feedback on our performance. This is how we get better. We all need to push ourselves to achieve better and learn something new, whether it’s from a corporate trainer, a teacher, or a fellow student in a classroom. 

Accrss Africa a signiciant skills gap remain. Althoug the African Development Bank is making a concerted efftort in addressing the skills gap, its difficult to see how their initiatives will deliver enoight of the 21st Century leaders we need to drive organsiational growth and related employment opportunities needed accross the continent. With a range of African countires featuring ammongst the words fastst growth economies agin this year, its clear that improving access to executive education in Africa is a priority. 

We can reinvent how executive education is provided after it has been completely revamped with cutting-edge technologies and more successful business models. This is why we feel its time for improving access to executive eduction. Like other industries, such as tourism and entertainment, this reinvention might lead to comparable digital upheavals.

In most organisations, digital transformation has been sped up by two to three years because to COVID-19. Various platforms and technologies have been hastily created to assist employees cooperate, communicate, develop, and actively maintain their performance levels at every step, whether they are working directly with clients or performing administrative tasks.

Despite the fact that the epidemic is far from over, many organisations are beginning to return to face-to-face interactions. In addition to this, organisations are reevaluating their overall working paradigm. Do individuals have to show up or meet in person if certain conditions are met? Is it necessary for a company to offer office space for every single one of its workers? Are there implications for the way we work? We’re only beginning to witness the consequences of the diverse findings that different organisations have come at.

Executive education has a lot to gain from these new advances. While in-person strategy sessions and weekend retreats have long been the norm, the need for distant learning alternatives arose out of nowhere. Executive education, on the other hand, is looking to a completely new era that has some surprising advantages where traditional education models may be struggling.

As an organisation, we believe that online learning can potentially boost the benefits of executive education. One of these beneifts is most certainly In the past, executive education offered a variety of benefits to participants, including the opportunity to study, network, and obtain credentials from prestigious institutions. As executive education shifts to online learning, the emphasis has shifted to the learning process itself. Solution-driven procedures appear to be more important than ever before in the COVID-19 age. It’s a big gain for those who want to improve their executive abilities.

The change in executive learning development appears to have advantages for organisations as well, beyond the apparent advantages for learners. A virtual executive education paradigm will have two advantages in our opinion.executive leadership programmes research

How will these changes help us in improving access to executive education in Africa

1. Learners will benefit from additional alternatives, opportunities, and personalization as learning is better selected to actually enable organisational goals. 
2. In the same way, organisations will benefit from more powerful, packaged, and deployable content and options.

In light of this, we have offered a succinct summary of the possible advantages of post-coronavirus executive education courses for a) executives looking for new tools and b) educational organisations seeking to share their expertise and enhance corporate procedures. Many of these advantages, although they appeared during COVID-19, will also apply once the crisis ends. As a result, some of these surprising prizes may not be available at all times.

Real-world advantages of COVID-19 for executive learners

It is possible to get ready for any situation with the help of online executive education. COVID-era online cooperation has uncovered a wide range of organisational weaknesses. Virtual task management technologies like Slack and Trello have made executives aware of major labour allocation issues that were previously hidden from them because of their extensive daily to-do lists.

Online executive education’s immediacy, on the other hand, may alert students to these kinds of issues and provide them the tools they need to respond almost immediately. With perpetual change as the sole standard, this flexibility will come in handy. In order to tackle the challenges of today and prosper, many people will need to reskill. When company changes so quickly, professionals are at risk of becoming outdated through virtual executive education.

Distance learning gives students additional choices. In an instant, COVID created an even playing field for all executive education institutions, regardless of their reputation. Programmers had to focus even more on content and accessibility in order to stand out in the absence of exclusive getaways and spectacular retreats.

Executive education is a seller’s market

Open enrollment will be expanded for more online courses. This is certainlyone of the ways of improving access to executive eduction. Participants who are unable to go to a campus will be able to take advantage of this programme. Additional online material will be included into tailored services. Better design, more adaptability, and more scalable educational solutions are all advantages of this. Business schools may improve access to executive eduction by providing courses in many languages, which makes them more accessible to people from across the world. It’s safe to say that this will make it much easier for leaders to get their hands on the information relevant to them and their organisations. 

Improving access to executive education in Africa through online learning

There has been a lot of discussion in the executive education community recently about the knoweldge and skills transfer gap. (i.e. the problem wherein something learnt is seldom put into practise in actual life) as one of the largest issues. What’s the deal here? The distance between where a skill [is] learnt… and where it is applied” may be the solution, according to study by cognitive, educational, and applied psychologists.

In this case, the immediacy of online learning might be a benefit. Virtual executive education may bridge the skills transfer gap by providing simply accessible and highly scalable “learning solutions” on demand, in addition to increasing reaction times so executives can remain flexible in a changing environment. In a matter of minutes, students may learn a new skill and immediately put it to use in their work environment, all from the convenience of their own homes. Increased chances of their remembering (and using) their new skills will be a result of this.improving access to executive eduction in Africa

Is there life beyond learning online?

Because of the knowledge we’ve gained over the last year, our online executive education courses are more competitive and useful than they’ve ever been. Instructors and administrators must now focus on the finer points of these upcoming courses as we look to the future.

So far, for most of us instructors, Zoom has been sufficient, and we’ve made the investment in home recording studios with high-quality cameras and interactive equipment. However, there are much better options out there. “immersive” livestreaming and hybrid classrooms that allow remote and in-person students to communicate fluidly through video are also possible solutions, as are “immersive” classrooms in which the teacher or students are encircled by a wall of screens. Recently, the hybrid classroom style we use in some universities has shown to be an enormous success and mving forward teaching in the metaverse may further enhance this. Schools can start with less expensive solutions that utilise speaker-tracking cameras and directional microphones to improve the experience of distant participants. 

“Online vs. in-person” is an oversimplified way tho think aboyt the issue, and it’s important to keep that in mind. These breakthrough technologies illustrate that hybrid modalities are not only feasible possibilities, but they can scale considerably more quickly, making them attractive options to programme managers. With online courses, profit margins may grow more faster than they can in-person course margins no matter how big the programme develops.

4 ways executive education evolved?

Pandemics, larger technical advancements, and new disruptors are all contributing to the growth of these themes.

1. Executive education available across all channels

There will be a desire for courses that are really channel-agnostic in the future, meaning that they can provide the same value whether they are taken in person or online. Using synchronous and asynchronous material, learners will have access to the best of both worlds in terms of in-person and online delivery modes. Because in the end, clients don’t operate just online or in person.

Observe how businesses like Best Buy have smoothly integrated their online and physical storefronts so that customers may simply switch between channels based on their preferences. It is also important for executives to have the option of consuming material at a time and place that best suits their schedules.

There will be a desire for courses that are really channel-agnostic in the future, meaning that they can provide the same value whether they are taken in person or online.

2. Partnerships for strategic learning

Strategic relationships between business schools and businesses will become more common. Custom executive education is becoming more popular, while open enrollment courses are becoming less popular, according to our Kellogg School of Management experience. In order to provide their workers with more relevant and customised training, firms are partnering with business schools in order to hold executive education programmes more accountable for the impact they have on the bottom line.

Companies and business schools may put material on the same platform and make it broadly available to their workers through the advent of LMSs supplied “as a service,” which is another disruptive driver. There will be an increase in the usage of learning management systems (LMS) by executive education providers that give corporate users with Vimeo-style interfaces for internal and external material. 

3. Partnerships for online executive education that are outsourced.

Online portals that provide pre-recorded courses from respected business schools are already in existence. Students can choose from a variety of courses on a digital shelf. This is the supermarket concept of business education. This technique is only going to become more popular as students become more comfortable with online learning.

As these new businesses indicate, it is advantageous to join an alliance of business schools that has its own online learning system. Otherwise, the ease and cheaper prices offered by these open online platforms may entice students to leave.

4. Certification and credentials that are based on skills

These days, students enrol in executive education programmes with the express purpose of advancing their professional careers. They have a clear idea of the abilities they’ll need and are looking for resources that will help them earn the certifications they need. Digital marketing and artificial intelligence are two sectors that are expected to see a surge in demand for small-scale courses or certificates. One day or one week courses may even represent the beginning of a new trend in education called micro learning, in which students receive specialised certifications upon completion. It is possible that future employers may be able to access these micro modules and credentials in a blockchain record that is nearly like learning credits.

Ideas for Mving Forward

What does this mean for educators, and what should you and your institution be doing in order to prepare for the future?? Listed above are seven things to keep in mind.

For the benefit of teachers:

  • Incorporate hybrid and mixed learning strategies into all executive education courses in advance of post-pandemic in-person programmes. Avoid thinking about a time before technology, but rather on how things will be in the future. Use the information in this article and your institution’s capabilities to build competitive hybrid and multi-channel services.
  • Focus on the creation of online courses that are in the middle of low-cost and expensive in-person options. Others who can afford to attend classes in person will have an advantage over those who can only afford to take classes online. Hybrid programmes in the middle ground will become a competitive advantage for many schools.

Institutions should look to the following:

  • Provide resources and infrastructure to support the development and design of educational materials for long-term asynchronous and hybrid use. You’ll have to transform your school into a television studio. You’ll need experts in instructional design, UX design, video production, and more to make it happen.
  • Hire and nurture teachers with high-demand topic expertise and a strong screen presence. It is imperative that faculty have the ability to teach highly marketable content on trendy areas such as digital storytelling, analytics and private equity, rather than dull overview courses. It’s also important that schools choose faculty members who students would like watching online.
  • Program pricing and upfront capital expenditures will necessitate a change in your business model, which you must account for. Online and hybrid content creation demands a substantially higher initial outlay than traditional programmes. In addition to additional commercial difficulties, online modalities pose other concerns, such as royalty payments for individuals who create the courses.
  • Prepare your physical facilities for the digital-first future by rethinking your current infrastructure. The classroom of the future will not resemble the classroom of today in any way. Your physical environment should be redesigned to support new modes of learning rather than being forced to accommodate digital learning.
  • Enhance your digital marketing staff and reconsider your customer acquisition channels, if necessary. A distinct set of talents and abilities are needed to promote digital items than traditional ones. Business schools excel at high-touch, high-cost client acquisition. Institutions will have to reorganise their marketing divisions in order to keep up with the times. Marketing technologies and infrastructure must to be updated for a digital-first future.
  • Changes and disruptions to executive education have been hastened by this epidemic. Teachers should begin creating courses that take advantage of new modalities and economic models that will become more frequent in the next several years. As the industry undergoes rapid transformation, so should institutions. Business schools that are ready to look outside the box and embrace change have a bright future ahead of them.

There are many organisations who have learned how well individuals can work together online—and we have, too. Virtual programmes have proved that individuals can have meaningful connections across vast distances with the correct tools for cooperation and discussion.

All of our programmes are designed to enhance the learning experience for participants and teachers alike, whether they are delivered online or face-to-face. Executives, on the other hand, must be dedicated to effective communication. Being a good listener and observer can help you learn more effectively and more effectively assist others learn and develop their skills.

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