Engaging the Students of Today and Tomorrow: The Rise of Mobile Communication in Africa

As the world strives to keep pace with the fourth industrial revolution, as millennials enter the workforce, and as post-millennials enroll at educational facilities, a common requirement is the embracement of technology. This results in an increased demand for companies and institutions to offer innovations, such as mobile solutions, that meet the expectations and needs of these generations. 

In education, this is fast becoming a standard prerequisite. These emerging technologies not only fit the students’ and young workers’ frames of reference but are also the drivers of future advances in societies, governments and businesses across the globe. To remain effective, education must not only be relevant to those being educated but also to the world they are being prepared for. As the civil rights activist, Malcolm X once said; “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” 

Major technological advances are being seen in marketplaces and institutions throughout the world – and companies and institutions like Eiffel Corp and the University of Pretoria (UP) are determined not to let South Africa get left behind. The recently formed partnership between these organisations has seen Eiffel Corp (as the provider of Modo Campus© in South Africa), create the University of Pretoria’s UP Mobile App. 

The UP Mobile App, developed on the Modo Campus© Modo Labs platform, serves as a mobile, cloud-based, localised place where students, staff and alumni can access all necessary and relevant information. This is a definite and intentional step towards South African universities embracing Ed-tech. As such, the University of Pretoria is leading the way in advancing South African tertiary institutions in the digital/tech space.  

The UP Mobile App was launched on 13 August 2019, at anevent held at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Campus. The President of UP’s Student Representative Council, David Kwaba spoke on behalf of the students. “Today is an exciting day for us, as we join the world of superior technology. Students will now be better informed and equipped and feel more empowered.”

According to Dr Wimpie Beeken, Information Technology Services Capability Development Management at the University of Pretoria, the Modo Campus©Modo Labs platform allowed for the UP App to be tailored with ease. With Eiffel Corp’s support, this ensured that the UP Mobile App services the students’ specific needs without needing advanced technical skills, such as coding. Theplatform, which was founded by a team from MIT, is globally recognised and celebrated. 

Dr Beeken expressed excitement about the University of Pretoria being the first public university to utilise this technology and expressed joy in the fact that the platform allows the UP Mobile App to shift and change as required. “The UP Mobile App has a specific focus; to enrich the students’ lives, both on and off campus. It also has the ability to morph into something new, answering the question ‘what are the other benefits that we can bring to a user?’ We have to change as we go through years and seasons… with Modo Labs we have the opportunity to do that.” 

The world continues to move towards functioning (and excelling) in the technological space, specifically within the realm of mobile communication. With the availability of global platforms such as Modo Campus©, educational institutions and companies within South Africa can not only keep up with the technological advances but become leaders in the industrial revolution too. With a focus on driving technology in education, this will be achieved. “Thank you to the University of Pretoria for your continued trust in Eiffel Corp to support you in realising the potential of technology in furthering education,” concluded Stefan Du Plessis, Chief Commercial Officer at Eiffel Corp.