B360 education partnerships applies a highly successful formula, by facilitating know-how transfer between top European professionals and African students. The European experts teach at institutions of higher educations in Africa on a voluntary basis, and African students complete internships in European corporations. The result is a positive return on investment for both sides of the equation.
To reach its goals, B360 collaborates directly with institutions of higher education in Southern Africa, in areas that can make a significant contribution to mid- and long-term economic and social development. Targeting these needs, B360 recruits volunteer lecturers (active and retired), most from the European public and private sectors, to create and deliver relevant content for teaching assignments lasting three weeks on average.
A key part of the 360 approach is the 3-month internship program for Southern African top students in Swiss companies. These offer a stimulating learning opportunity for both the interns and their host colleagues, including host families.
The volunteers are seasoned experts, active and retired, who teach in many disciplines offered at the Polytechnic and these include engineering, environment health (food safety and occupational health), communication, marketing, accounting, economics, media technology and architecture.
Senior students would serve their internships at top companies in Switzerland (listed and private or SMEs). These are notably Credit Suisse, Deloitte, KPMG, Swiss Quality Testing Services (SQTS), HARCO, Ferrum AG. The students’ air tickets to Switzerland are sponsored by B360 and they are totally immersed in the Swiss business culture and social life as they are also accommodated by host families and receive a modest allowance during their internships.
By the end of 2015, 84 Swiss experts would have taught at the Polytechnic and 22 Polytechnic students would have served their internships in Switzerland.
At the annual B360 event hosted at the Rietberg Museum in Zürich two weeks ago, about 150 volunteers, experts, funders, sponsors converged to promote the foundation, to review progress, celebrate success and network.
By 2014, the market value of the volunteer expert hours was approximated at N$ 49 million, while the market value of other volunteer hours was estimated at N$ 32.7 million. Indeed, this is a remarkable contribution by a small but hugely important education foundation. The Polytechnic community express our deep appreciation to B360 and its supporters.