Why do Professors Without Borders (PROWIBO) focus on short courses?

The method of short courses has been tried and tested; in fact, short courses are very popular, and attract students from the entire world who are eager to learn in small environments with the best lecturers. We believe that this should be accessible to anyone, even if you can’t travel. So PROWIBO brings the lecturers to local universities where they can teach and inspire students everywhere.

Does PROWIBO facilitate student exchanges?

No, Professors without Borders does not facilitate student exchanges. We bring top-level educators and global experts to the doorsteps of students worldwide. We believe that in order for countries to develop, they need to develop talent and encourage their youth. PROWIBO assists with this by providing short intensive courses that focus on building the skills and confidence to succeed in the jobs of tomorrow.

Where does PROWIBO hold summer courses?

In 2016, we hosted our pilot program in Freetown and Bo, Sierra Leone. In 2017, we ventured back to Freetown, while expanding to Uganda and Thailand. In 2018 we returned to Sierra Leone, Thailand and Uganda to again successfully launch our summer school programs. We then again returned to Uganda, Thailand and Sierra Leone in 2019, in addition to holding our first program in Senegal. We are looking to expand globally and can teach anywhere in the world. If you are interested in having us teach at your institution, please do contact us. We never send our Professors somewhere we haven’t been to ourselves and we monitor each country carefully before we decide to hold a summer school there.

What level of education does PROWIBO provide?

Our courses are aimed at university-level students. In our pilot year, we taught high school students and will continue to engage with them to prepare them for university. We do not assume a basic knowledge in the subject fields we teach as our courses are self-contained. We also work closely with the host institution to ensure that all courses are tailored to the level of understanding of the students. In subject matters that the students would not have been exposed to, we ensure that our professors lead the students through the courses or simulations and make sure they are successful in their studies.

Who teaches the courses?

Our courses are taught by academics and professionals, who are experts in their field. All our professors go through a thorough selection process ensuring that we only bring the best and most inspiring people to our summer courses. Furthermore, our professors have come from some of the world’s leading institutions, such as the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, the London School of Economics, Richmond University, IED Barcelona, the New York Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge and Regent’s University London. We are a truly global organisation and this is reflected in the background and experience of our lecturers. To find out more about our lecturers please click here.

How are the courses structured?

Our primary model lasts two weeks and students are exposed to two to three courses daily.  The lecturers have contact time with each student every day for one to two hours. We believe that these intensive, short-courses can be self-contained, or part of the wider curriculum of the host institution. We also hold workshops that are skills-focused. We are able to adapt our model to the needs of the host institution and offer longer or shorter courses as required.

Does PROWIBO support the existing curriculum at the host institution?

We work very closely with our host institutions to develop courses that both supplement the existing program and challenge the students. The courses we provide vary each year depending on the expertise of our lecturers and the institution’s needs. Where the host institution would like us to focus on a particular area or provide certain expertise, we are flexible and can do it through our courses or tailored workshops.

What subjects does PROWIBO teach?

We are subject-agnostic and skills-focused. We do not focus on any one area but all courses must be able to be taught within two weeks.  We work closely with the host institution to develop a program that suits and benefits their students. Our course offering has included: Law, Global Politics, International Political Economy, Geography, African Politics, Design Thinking, Global Finance, Community Health, Model United Nations, Climate Change, Civil Society, etc.

We also hold various workshops that are meant to provide the students with soft skills that will benefit them in their careers. These workshops have included: letter writing, teaching and research, personal branding, entrepreneurship, CV writing, public speaking, the principles of ethics, legal issues in international business, etc. Our workshops can be as specific or as broad as the host institution requires.

Who can attend the workshops?

Our workshops are open to anyone, including the general public, according to the host university’s policies and hosting capacity. Some universities have opted to invite parents, lecturers and members of the public while others prefer to keep it for students only.

Who selects the students participating?

The host institution selects the students that participate in the program. We prefer to teach in small classes, with a cap of 25 students.

How much does it cost?

These short courses are free of charge and the host institutions cannot charge students or anyone else who attends them. This is a cash-free transaction where we provide education and educators upon the invitation of an institution who offers teaching space and recruits the students.

How is PROWIBO funded?

We are currently funded through generous private donations. All of the money raised goes straight into short courses, meaning we can make a large impact with a relatively small amount of money. Our lecturers volunteer their time and are not paid. PROWIBO covers travel and accommodation expenses for the lecturers. Our founders and support staff are all volunteers. If would like to support us, please visit our page.

How can I be involved?

There are three main ways to be involved with PROWIBO. The first one is sending in an application to be a lecturer for one of our summer schools. The second way is to volunteer or intern with us. The third way you can be involved is by raising funds for one of our programs. If you are interested in supporting us but are unsure how or you’d like to hear more about it, then please contact Caroline at cvarin@prowibo.com.

Can PROWIBO come to my University?

We are open to talk to any and all universities about starting short course programs. There are two ways that PROWIBO partners with Universities around the world. We are happy to set up a partnership with public universities where we can support the academic experience of all students. Private universities can also get in touch if you are interested in implementing our program. Our objective is to improve the learning experience of all students and expect all courses to be made freely available to them.