Honoris United Universities Celebrates International Women’s Month by Announcing New Pan-African Partnership
March 23rd, 2022 – In recognition of International Women’s Day, Honoris United Universities, the first and largest network of private higher education institutions in Africa, today welcomes a new partnership with pan-African support organisation Women in Tech Africa (WITA). To commence this partnership, Honoris is delighted to sponsor 100 young women from WITA’s network across the continent to complete the highly successful 21st Century Skills Certificate on a pro bono basis – increasing their preparedness for a globally disrupted world of work.
The Honoris 21st Century Skills Certificate delivers skills training in areas highlighted by industry analysts and by the demands of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). The 100-hour program constitutes a four-module design including personal, social, digital, and entrepreneurship skills which are embedded in the curricula. So far, the Honoris 21st Century Skills Certificate has been implemented in 10 institutions across Honoris network and 10,000+ learners have skilled up for the future of work.
Women empowerment and entrepreneurship plays an integral role in the Honoris mission, which is realized via global partnerships and commitments to organizations with shared missions. Women in Tech Africa (WITA), the continent’s largest organization of its kind, sets out to; promote the capabilities of an African woman achiever; raise today’s female leaders and role models for the next generation; and ensure African growth through technology by bridging the digital divide.
Young Africans play a key role in realising the vision of economic transformation laid out in the African Union’s Agenda 2063 – a vision of inclusive growth driven by investments in human capital, science, technology, and innovation. In order to harness the investments made into these critical sectors for Africa’s growth, particularly STEM, it’s important to ensure the trajectory of growth is inclusive.
Honoris actively supports SDG 5, gender equality and empowering all women and girls, ever more prescient in Africa as the continent boasts the highest number of female entrepreneurs anywhere in the world. This provides huge untapped potential to empower young women to approach STEM subjects just as much as they would approach more traditional degrees. Girls and women are key players in crafting solutions to improve lives and generate inclusive green growth that benefits all. They are the greatest untapped population to become the next generations of STEM professionals and we must invest in their talent.
At the institutional level, Honoris is highly committed to creating access and opportunities for women to fill the growing demand for roles in STEM and with a ratio of more female students in STEM than the global average, the network has educated more than 10,000 female students in this field to date. Two institutions in particular, UPSAT and Universite Centrale, boast more women than men in STEM courses. They are also supporting to create more gender balance in other key sectors including health, business and creative with more female students studying subjects in these areas than their male counterparts. More women than ever before are joining STEM courses – 49% of the total in the Honoris network. In Tunisia, 62% of Honoris STEM students are female (much higher than the national average), whilst in Morocco, women make up 33% of engineering students. Regionally, the total female/male ratio at Honoris is 53%/47%.
As a leader in STEM education, Honoris’ leading North African engineering schools grew from 5,200 total enrolments in 2018 to 20,400 in 2021. Similarly, in the health vertical, Honoris supplied a capacity of 700 additional seats over the last four years in Tunisia and an additional 50 for medical students in Nigeria, now reaching 100 per year. In South Africa, a focus on the Education vertical saw nearly 500 educational professionals undergo training in order to narrow the gap of skilled teachers required to meet the growing demand across the continent.
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