Although the number of universities in Ethiopia increased from eight in the 1990s to 136 in 2018, there are still many remote areas without access to any higher education facilities. Many students therefore fail to continue their education after high school, as it is difficult and expensive for them to migrate to attend a university. This lack of educational opportunities leads to an unqualified workforce and increases youth unemployment, which hinders Ethiopia’s social and economic pro-gress.
Within the project timeframe, St. Mary’s University will set up a digital learning platform in order to offer online courses to the remote areas of Ethiopia. During the course of the project, the platform will offer 11 programmes comprising two short courses, five undergraduate degrees, and four graduate degrees.
SMU expects to increase the number of enrolled students for distance-learning courses by 14,885 to 24,885. It will upgrade 13 regional centers with computers and internet access. This allows students who do not have the required IT infrastructure at home to access the platform. Students will receive a nationally accredited certificate after the successful completion of the programmes through online classes.
SMU and the Ministry of Health will establish a cooperation to develop and offer health-related courses. During the course of the project there will be 1 one-day seminar each arranged at the SMU Dallas cam-pus in Addis Ababa for offline students. Total 300 students and rep-resentatives from the ministry will attend the seminars.