Since 2004, Generation Rwanda enabled talented, but economically vulnerable Rwandan students to attend university and prepared them with skills needed to enter the workforce. The program supported a total of 235 students that graduated from Rwandan universities while also providing them with extensive support services.
Generation Rwanda wanted to further increase their impact, and the ideal opportunity arose in 2013 when a partnership with Southern New Hampshire University and their new College for America program was formed.
This partnership offered a highly innovative approach. Southern New Hampshire University’s online, competency-based program gives students the flexibility to earn an American accredited degree through a community partner program. Kepler’s in-person seminars, job readiness, and coaching, combined with SNHU’s online degree access, led to a partnership that allows students to attain affordable, internationally recognized degrees while studying in East Africa. To help students complete their BA degrees, Kepler provides loans for laptops and internet access, interactive support classes, personal advising, wrap-around student services, career support, and an inspiring and empowering learning environment.
Kepler’s first cohort in 2013 consisted of 50 students. In the 4 years since the launch, the student body grew 10 times with 550 students and two campuses as of September 2017. In 2015, Kepler opened a second campus in Kiziba refugee camp in western Rwanda where it serves students who are refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the same year, the Kigali campus began serving students from Burundi. In 2016, we expanded to add students from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and Uganda.
Kepler is committed to continuing to innovate its educational model to be as efficient as possible while guaranteeing a high-quality education and the acquisition of employment-ready skills to students. In the next few years, Kepler hopes to expand its reach in East Africa and across the African continent so students can complete international degrees and access meaningful pathways to employment at a competitive cost.