Ineffective and Unsustainable Programs That Do Good: An Example of How to Transition These to Be Effective and Sustainable


The University of Virginia (UVA) started the African Scholarship Cohort (ASC) program in 2015. This program was with a third-party vendor, Distance Education of Africa (DEAfrica), that provided marketing, enrollment, student and community support. Over the past four years over 4,500 scholarships were provided to recipients in 37 countries in Africa. Feedback on the program from learners was positive with studies conclusively showing that the program added value to both learners and employers. Unfortunately, a business model that was sustainable was not developed and partners assumed that content and administrative support would be provided for free forever. This has led a shift in focus from UVA to look at how international programs can be of value to residential students for study abroad, internships, and research projects. As part of this shift, the existing program with DEAfrica is shutting down. The program will now partner with higher education institutions in more formalized partnership agreements. These agreements will articulate who is doing what work, what content is being delivered for what cost, and what is the value to the student and society. This presentation will review what worked, what didn't work, and next steps.

Author Information
Kristin Palmer, University of Virginia, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2020
Stream: International Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon