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

Short courses enable a full immersion into a subject that fits into the busy lives of our volunteer teachers and students.

Our programmes run according to the LSE Summer School model, which inspired the creation of Prowibo. This method of short courses has been tried and tested; they 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 instead of bringing a few students to Europe, PROWIBO brings the best teachers from around the world to universities keen to experience the ‘summer school’ model in their home institutions. 

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 has Prowibo held short courses?

In 2016, we hosted our pilot program in Freetown and Bo, Sierra Leone. Since then, we have expanded, teaching short courses in Uganda, Thailand, Malaysia, Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, India and Nepal. We are always looking for new partners 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 professors are experienced in teaching university-level courses. All programmes are aimed at university students but assume no prior knowledge in the taught subject. As classes are student-focused, the teacher adapts to the level of the students and the class dynamic plays a big role in shaping the content and pace of the course.

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 students. Furthermore, many professors have come from the world’s leading academic institutions, international organisations and companies. We currently have over twenty volunteer professors for our short courses and over sixty who teach via our online platform.

We are a truly global organisation and this is reflected in the diverse background and experience of our lecturers. To find out more about our lecturers please click here.

How are the courses structured?

Our courses generally lasts two weeks and students are exposed to two to three hours of each class daily. The lecturers have contact time with each student every day. 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?

Yes. We work very closely with our host institutions to develop courses that can contribute to the existing curriculum and integrate all students. The courses we provide vary each year depending on the expertise of our educators 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 with no prior knowledge required from the students.  We work closely with the host institution to develop a program that suits and benefits their students. Our course offering has included: Law, Community Health, Global Politics, International Political Economy, Geography, African Politics, Design Thinking, Global Finance, 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, our two main sponsors are Carrier Luxury Holidays and The Dr. Rau Foundation. 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 educators 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 many ways to be involved with Prowibo. The first one is sending in an application to be a lecturer for one of our summer schools or a guest lecturer for our online platform. 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.org.

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.