AltSchool Africa secures UK’s ASIC accreditation amid growing interest in online learning

February 14, 2024
3 min read
AltSchool Africa team

Adewale Yusuf, CEO of AltSchool Africa, once emphasised the importance of expanding education beyond the four walls of the classroom by leveraging the Internet's vast potential to reach and educate the next billion Africans. This idea has propelled many people, resulting in significant interest in online learning, as evidenced by the emergence of numerous players vying for a piece of the market. 

In 2023, Coursera conducted a study that revealed that, although only 36% of its population has access to the Internet, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest average annual growth rate in enrolment, with an 80% increase in enrolment in professional certificates. According to Statista, the online learning platform market is expected to reach 1.0 billion users by 2028.

With this apparent increase in demand, creating offers that resonate with potential students remains a significant challenge because it requires maintaining a standard and providing the right quality. 

Since its launch in 2021, AltSchool Africa says it has facilitated over 5 million hours of training for over 60,000 learners from over 100 countries across its five schools: Engineering, Product, Data, Business, and Creative Economy.

Meanwhile, its offerings are not limited to the foregoing. The school recently announced its diversification into the creative economy. 

It has also launched ‘Launchpad,’ a free, comprehensive course that provides in-depth insights into the various career paths available in technology and the skills required to pursue them, following its expansion into Kenya.

To stay competitive, the Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges, and Universities (ASIC) has granted full accreditation to the digital learning platform, indicating a significant step forward in validating the learning platform's curricula, systems, and processes, all of which are designed following global best standards. 

ASIC, one of the largest international accreditation agencies operating in over 70 countries, is recognised in the United Kingdom by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), a part of the Home Office of the UK Government. 

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ASIC is also a member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), the British Quality Foundation (BQF), the International Schools Association (ISA), and an institutional member of the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN).

What this accreditation means for AltSchool Africa and the students

Previously, the school had received an exemption from the state of California, United States, making it eligible to issue diplomas. Per Yusuf, this development is not just about the school; it means that the “ students are now going to have international accreditation.” 

It also means that the diploma issued by the school will be accredited. ASIC accreditation signals to students and sponsors that the institution is a secure investment that leads to valuable qualifications. This accreditation will be valid for four years (2024–2028) before being renewed.

Yusuf describes it as a catalyst for expanding the school's reach to more people, particularly those from underserved communities. He confirms that it involves providing world-class, modern, and cost-effective education to enable them to effectively compete with their counterparts and access limitless career opportunities within and beyond Africa.

This move aligns with the school’s goal to equip ten million Africans with profitable skills that will shape their futures and the growth of Africa by 2030. 

With the edtech startup’s deviation from the norm to beat the competition and make significant changes in the education sector, Yusuf shares that the ASIC accreditation spotlights the standard the school has set since the inception of its journey to impact the careers and lives of millions of Africans through its learning programmes and initiatives.

“This is why we made sure that every aspect of our process is guided by excellence. With this accreditation, a leading globally recognised quality standard in international education, AltSchool Africa is even more motivated to eliminate restrictions and create a pathway for a brighter future, especially for individuals in underserved communities across Africa who now have the opportunity to receive world-class education and skill training,” he added. 

Dr Ademola Akinrinola, Director of Learning and Academics at AltSchool Africa, agrees with Yusuf, stating that obtaining ASIC accreditation demonstrates to students and stakeholders that AltSchool Africa is a high-quality education provider. 

According to him, this accreditation signifies the school's dedication to continuous enhancement across all its operations and commitment to delivering secure and rewarding educational experiences.

Furthermore, Yusuf acknowledges the school’s effort to obtain accreditations from various locations, including the United States, West Africa, Nigeria, and other global regions, to ensure inclusivity for all students. This also means that the school will be partnering with many schools globally. 

Dr Akinrinola clarifies that the accreditation process included an impartial and independent external assessment, ensuring that AltSchool Africa’s provisions adhere to internationally accepted standards, covering its administration, governance, and educational offerings.

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