Since our launch in 2004 as Orphans of Rwanda and then Generation Rwanda in 2010, Kepler has been supporting talented but economically vulnerable Rwandan students to attend higher education institutions in Rwanda. In 2013, we refocused our efforts on reinventing higher education to offer young people pathways to access gainful employment. We signed a partnership with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) to provide our students access to a competency-based US bachelor’s degrees.
Key to our mission is serving marginalized communities – refugees, very vulnerable students, and students with disabilities. We have committed to making sure 30% of students are from marginalized communities (at least 25% from refugee populations). To do this we address the barriers they face head on with the Iteme preparatory program that empowers secondary school students from refugee and surrounding communities to succeed at and after Kepler.
In 2021, we opened in Ethiopia, launching the Graduate Employment Program (GEP), an upskilling program based on our content and experience running the foundation program and Kepler modules. With an 85% employment rate, we are excited to roll out more upskilling programs in Rwanda and Ethiopia in 2022.
In 2022, we will also launched Kepler College in Rwanda piloting a unique 21st century university experience through blended learning, dynamic career services and tailored support for marginalized communities.
The students we serve come from marginalized economic backgrounds. We want to make sure everyone who wants to attend Kepler programs can. We offer ethical student financing through the Future of Work Fund created and managed by Chancen International so everyone who wants to attend Kepler, can. We do this through Income Shared Agreements.
Kepler is committed to sharing our learnings with the broader higher education community in Rwanda and Africa. We support other institutions to strengthen their employment outcomes through technical assistance and through our work with Ashesi University’s Education Collaborative East Africa Hub.
Kepler was born out of Generation Rwanda, which enabled talented, but economically vulnerable Rwandan students to attend university and prepared them with skills needed to enter the workforce since 2004.
We partner with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) to scale our impact through their College for America program.
This partnership offered a highly innovative approach combining Southern New Hampshire University’s online degree access with in-person seminars, job readiness training, and coaching. It enables students to attain affordable, internationally recognized degrees while studying in East Africa.
We began to focus recruitment on refugees in Rwanda to ensure equal access to our bachelor's degree offerings. We open a satellite campus at Kiziba Refugee Camp in Western Rwanda.
In 2016, we expand to include students from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and Uganda.
We launch a preparatory program, Iteme, that prepares secondary school graduates who wish to pursue tertiary education. The curriculum focuses on English language development, soft skills, basic technology, and numeracy.
Kepler partners with Chancen International to pilot an ethical student financing mechanism that gives eligible Kepler students support during their time at Kepler for their tuition, accommodation and stipends in the form of income share agreements (ISAs).
Kepler expands to Ethiopia through the piloting of the Graduate Employment Program.
Kepler’s first cohort in 2013 consisted of 50 students. We have since grown to serving 2500 young people and graduating 609 through the SNHU program
Kepler launches Kepler College to offer our own blended degree programs and self-paced certificates in Rwanda. Kepler College will deepen our local impact by offering more students the opportunity to earn a degree or certification in competitive 21st century fields.
Kepler and Chancen International expand the student financing program through the Future of Work Fund.
In the next few years, Kepler will expand our work in Rwanda and Ethiopia in higher education, upskilling and research focusing on preparing students and supporting marginalized communities.