South Africa’s iXperience and the University of Virginia (UVA) – a top-ranked American university – are collaborating to pioneer a new paradigm of learning in South Africa and beyond.
This Cape Town-based education boot camp has created an accredited study abroad program that combines a humanities education with career-focused skills development.
The aim of the program is to better prepare students for the future while exposing them to global perspectives.
While traditional universities offer a broad range of courses, it can be challenging for them to keep their content up-to-date with a rapidly changing career landscape.
iX Immerse—a new 10-week, 10 credit program created by iX and UVA—aims to change that by combining humanities courses and concepts such as history, politics, arts, and social justice, with the practical, and most in-demand skills necessary to succeed in the modern workplace.
Exclusively in Cape Town, the course will first challenge students to learn about South Africa’s complex culture and gain a deeper understanding of its people by taking a liberal arts course built on four key themes: history and politics, environment and sustainability, health and society, and arts and music. Then, students will learn essential and in-demand skills such as data science, investment finance, or web development, from industry experts.
As a final part of the program, students will complete learnerships at local or international companies that will allow them to practice their new skills, gain an even deeper understanding of the city’s culture, and leave a positive impact on the South African business community.
“The collaboration with iXperience has the potential to serve as a new model for higher education,” said Ian Baucom, UVA’s Buckner W. Clay Dean of Arts & Sciences.
“This is a compelling way to integrate the liberal arts with skills-based learning and hands-on internship experiences in a global context, and we’re excited to offer this opportunity not only for students, but also for our faculty seeking research and teaching opportunities in Africa and Europe.”
iXperience currently operates in two other cities around the world—Berlin, and Lisbon—where they offer iX Accelerate, a six-week blend of internships and “boot camp” skills training in courses rooted in fields like Management Consulting, Finance, and Tech.
UVA and iXperience have a shared vision of expanding the iX Immerse program globally and even looking to create longer programs that allow students to study in multiple cities over the course of their university education.
“The world is changing rapidly, and the higher education landscape has shifted radically in the last few years. More and more, traditional universities are looking for ways to both teach their students how to think critically about the world, and equip them with the practical skills for the workplace (like the skills iXperience teaches),” said Aaron Fuchs, Founder, and CEO of iXperience.
“Our collaboration with UVA, one of the preeminent public universities in the world, will enable us to further bridge the gap between traditional education and futuristic skills development – holistically preparing students not just for their careers now, but for the future challenges of the world,” he added.
Applications are open
iXperience’s 2019 programs will take place from May-August 2019. Students can freely submit their applications online.