Innovation & Enterprise


UCL working together with Vodafone

A collaboration between UCL and Vodafone is giving young people in emerging economies vital training in telecoms regulation.

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22 February 2016

UCL is working in partnership with Vodafone to develop and deliver a specialised, professionally-oriented education programme for emerging markets. 

Vodafone's Academy for Governance and Policy, part of its philanthropic arm, sought to develop the programme in order to teach regulatory policy to talented professionals in emerging economies.

Vodafone is an established global telecoms provider in areas including West Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and urgently needs local candidates to take on roles that require policy and regulatory knowledge.

The programme, developed in collaboration with a cross-disciplinary team at UCL, aims to help Vodafone:

  • train a talent pool of young, educated professionals who will help raise standards and develop policy within regulated industries
  • make education and qualifications more widely available
  • provide opportunities to a wider group of young people working in emerging market economies throughout the world

Collaborating to change lives

A joint team spanning UCL Life Learning and UCL Consultants (UCLC) developed the proposal, in collaboration with UCL’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP), led by Head of Department Dr Jason Blackstock. Together, they have formulated a rigorous, dynamic training solution that meets Vodafone’s needs.

Numerous benefits arise from this multi-faculty approach. It allows UCL to source and offer cross-disciplinary expertise from across the university, while maintaining a single point of contact. It enables UCL to train the next generation of global telecoms practitioners, living up to its global engagement strategy. It also empowers its academics to work with UCL Life Learning, UCLC and Vodafone to provide a first-class product delivered across an international student body.

An exciting long-term vision

The postgraduate certificate (PGCert) will be delivered as four residential workshops in London and other key locations abroad, such as Johannesburg and Addis Ababa. The project is currently in its pilot phase to train Vodafone staff, with the full PGCert programme proposed to go live in 2017. The longer-term vision aims to see this model developed to expand into multiple countries and other regulated markets.

“This is an excellent example of UCL partnering with a leading international business,” says Dr Jason Blackstock, UCL STEaPP Head of Department. “This type of specialised educational programme aims to create a pipeline of talent in the developing and emerging economies that can benefit both Vodafone and the domestic policy environment. We're excited to have the opportunity to be developing educational solutions that can provide real life-changing opportunities in countries where STEaPP is already highly research active and policy engaged.”

Alison Parbutt, Head of Global Programmes at Vodafone, says: “We are excited to be working with UCL on this project as their ambition matches ours: we want to be able to deliver a high-quality learning experience that provides real opportunities for local young people. The potential for the Academy is huge. After the initial pilot phase, we are looking forward to bringing in other commercial and philanthropic partners to open the Academy up to more markets and countries.”

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