Cyprus based online education platform, gets backing by Goldman Sachs, to expand to 100K learners in Africa by 2023

Cyprus based online education platform, gets backing by Goldman Sachs, to expand to 100K learners in Africa by 2023

UNICAF, the largest online higher education platform in Africa, announced last week, that it has raised USD 28 million in a Series B financing round led by Goldman Sachs(https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/africas-largest-online-university-platform-raises-28-million-to-meet-unprecedented-demand-for-higher-education-300750189.html).

The UK Government’s development finance institution CDC Group, leading higher education fund University Ventures, and EDEX, the founder of the University of Nicosia, are amongst the existing investors in the investment round (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/africas-largest-online-university-platform-raises-28-million-to-meet-unprecedented-demand-for-higher-education-300750189.html?fbclid=IwAR0qMk_mgJD9oGBQAlbQt-wFVEMee10x7Xjr3McHtGvtYbIIAhMcB8FSmUw).

Most importantly, this new funding will enable UNICAF to grow enrolment to over 100,000 students, expand the programme offering and open as many as five additional African campuses in the next five years (http://www.finsmes.com/2018/11/unicaf-raises-28m-in-series-b-funding.html?fbclid=IwAR0qMk_mgJD9oGBQAlbQt-wFVEMee10x7Xjr3McHtGvtYbIIAhMcB8FSmUw).

Jules Frebault, Executive Director at Goldman Sachs stated, “UNICAF is deploying a tech-enabled solution tailored to African markets for easy and affordable access to quality higher education that is uniquely suited to address the widening university supply-demand gap and skills shortages across the continent”.

UNICAF, founded in 2012 by Dr. Nicos Nicolaou, CEO, and based in Larnaca, Cyprus, is the leading online platform that offers affordable, quality higher education to underserved markets, predominantly in African countries, in collaboration with reputable universities in the UK, US, Europe and Africa (https://www.unicaf.org/).

Dr. Nicos Nicolaou, said that “Expanding access to high-quality education and training is a critical first step in enabling students across Africa to compete in the global economy. Smartphone ubiquity and advancements in broadband mean the promise of higher education should be within reach for millions of students. Yet, universities cannot keep pace with the rapid growth of Africa’s student population”(https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/africas-largest-online-university-platform-raises-28-million-to-meet-unprecedented-demand-for-higher-education-300750189.html?fbclid=IwAR0qMk_mgJD9oGBQAlbQt-wFVEMee10x7Xjr3McHtGvtYbIIAhMcB8FSmUw).

He continued and declared how “the commitment of Goldman Sachs cements the status of UNICAF as the leading platform for innovative university education in Africa. Our unique approach is designed specifically to meet the needs of African students, built on a state-of-the-art mobile-friendly platform and delivering international-standard university education at fraction of the cost of traditional models”.

Currently, there are more than 16,000 students through UNICAF, in academic programmes that lead to accredited undergraduate and postgraduate degrees awarded from UK, US, European and African universities (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/africas-largest-online-university-platform-raises-28-million-to-meet-unprecedented-demand-for-higher-education-300750189.html?fbclid=IwAR0qMk_mgJD9oGBQAlbQt-wFVEMee10x7Xjr3McHtGvtYbIIAhMcB8FSmUw).

The high quality of the UNICAF programmes, is depicted by the fact that more than 85% of UNICAF graduates are currently employed (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/africas-largest-online-university-platform-raises-28-million-to-meet-unprecedented-demand-for-higher-education-300750189.html?fbclid=IwAR0qMk_mgJD9oGBQAlbQt-wFVEMee10x7Xjr3McHtGvtYbIIAhMcB8FSmUw).

It should be noted that Sub-Saharan Africa is the most underserved region in the world, as fewer than 10% of potential students have access to higher education.

On a final note, UNICAF relies on digital course materials and virtual tutoring and offers more than 70 accredited undergraduate and postgraduate programs, from partner universities in Europe, the US and Africa. (https://globaluniversityventuring.com/university-ventures-enrols-in-unicafs-latest-round/?fbclid=IwAR2KMuLEPquCrouJcfIyn2w_mgcZasggYKW5Lq3Efc1E4ru83jvHb2v6EWo).

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