Nigerian lawyer Afe Babalola donates £10 million to King’s College London
King’s has received £10million from Nigerian Philanthropist and Lawyer, Aare Afe Babalola, to establish the Afe Babalola African Centre for Transnational Education.
The new Centre will enable young Africans to access education and opportunities which they would otherwise not be able to have. The vision for the Centre is based on the power of education to empower and enable Africa’s talented young people to make meaningful contributions to their communities and the world.
The Centre will offer blended and online programmes, ensuring access to students who have had their journey to higher education disrupted by conflict, displacement, or other transitions. It will also offer post-graduate level modules which can be brought together to create professionally recognised qualifications from diplomas to Masters degrees. Aare Afe Babalola’s donation will also provide scholarships alongside other funding partners, to support bright students who would not otherwise be able to access these programmes, generating valuable knowledge about the nature and impact of transnational education on Africa’s development.
A bespoke programme for Africa will be developed in partnership with the University of London and an alliance of leading African universities. Modules will focus on topics that give talented young people society-relevant knowledge and skills that can improve their own lives, their communities, and their futures – such as law, health, engineering, peace and security, and leadership.
This vision is inspired by Aare Afe Babalola’s own experiences of growing up without easy access to high quality education and benefitting from the transformative power of remote learning. This allowed him to study from his home in Nigeria and to graduate with degrees in Economics and Law from the University of London.
Building on a longstanding commitment to Africa at King’s and the University of London
This partnership will build on King’s and the University of London’s long-standing commitment to Africa and a legacy of working in true collaboration with African academics and institutions to deliver education and impactful research partnerships in the region for the benefit of all.
A key example of this, is the African Leadership Centre, which was established at King’s and in Kenya, in collaboration with the University of Nairobi, to develop a new community of African leaders, generating cutting-edge knowledge for peace, security and development in Africa. Another is the University of London’s long-standing relationship with Nigeria’s National Universities Commission which co-delivers annual symposia for higher education leaders.
King’s has also developed a new doctoral programme in Engineering in collaboration with the University of Makerere, launched earlier this year, providing innovative training with industry placements. A joint PhD in Engineering is in development with the University of Pretoria, building on a successful joint programme in Leadership and Security Studies.
Further, King’s Global Health Partnerships works with health facilities, academic institutions, and governments to strengthen health systems and improve the quality of care in four countries: Somaliland, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia.
The University of London pioneered distance learning in the 19th century and today provides online and distance education programmes to 45,000 learners studying in their home countries around the world. Aare Afe Babalola was one such student, a powerful example of the life-changing opportunities that are afforded by higher education.
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