Part of our day at Northrise University is spent in class. We usually go to class in the morning, learn something, then go tour a manufacturing plan in the afternoon (a panorama of a quarry for a local cement factory is seen in the picture below). The Northrise students are taking this class as part of credit towards their BBA, so it’s been interesting viewing the world as an undergraduate might view it. Not only that, but because our projects are Northrise- and Zambia-focused, in spite of the fact that I’m working on a degree that is on a different level, they are the clear subject matter experts.
It’s been interesting getting to know them and work with them. So many things that I take for granted are not anywhere close to the norm here. I was asking one of the university’s administrators how many of them have a computer with internet access at home, and he guessed 10-15%. So it’s a completely different world here. I have no idea what I would do if I wasn’t constantly connected via my computer or phone, especially if I was still expected to take quizzes and read books that were delivered electronically.
Last week, we were barely scratching the surface of our big projects. Instead, it was a week for learning the basics. This week, we are beginning that work as much as possible, and I’m working on expanding the Northrise brand. See, Northrise University is the first private, Christian university in Zambia. It was founded in 2004, and so it is still a very young university, but one that is well-respected (I saw one ranking that had it as the third-best university in the country). They recently purchased a new piece of land, and will be building on it in the near future. But what kinds of programs should they introduce? What will best impact Zambia and Zambians for the greatest good? And who is Northrise after ten years, and who do they want to be for the next ten years? These are the kinds of questions I am asking, and the ones that I hope to help answer in the weeks ahead.