“In Africa, for example, our people were using WhatsApp to study — that’s not the way to study, WhatsApp is a platform for communication,” Kabre said. “We can do better, and in fact, we can do even something much bigger that can really cover more areas, and also partner with institutions to have good content.”
For MATC, also known as Madison College, its partnership with Kabre fits neatly into one of its established initiatives. As part of its Africa Initiative, MATC sees the continent as an area of growth, both in terms of curriculum and international student enrollment. About 70% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is under the age of 30, but there’s a skilled labor gap — less than 10% of traditionally college-age people there are enrolled in a post-secondary program and there are not enough universities to meet demand.
MATC signed partnerships with Kenya-based Rift Valley Institute of Business Studies and the University of Gambia last fall and is collaborating with UW-Madison to craft an African Studies certificate that could launch as early as this fall.
“The discussion we’ve had over the past few months (is) how can we assist those countries here in Africa to see some of the educational programs that we have?” MATC President Jack Daniels said. “It also fits within our mission of providing training, and we’ve done a great job here in the state of Wisconsin in terms of providing the types of skill-based training folks need for jobs.”