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Nexford University Launches ‘Career Coalition’ With Major African Employers To Facilitate Graduate Recruitment

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Nexford University, the Washington DC-based next-generation university platform, announces the launch of its ‘Career Coalition’ in partnership with major employers. The coalition aims to bridge gaps between employers and Nexford University to the benefit of talent across the world.

Members of the coalition program are forward-thinking employers committed to leveraging education to drive business performance. These employers recognize the value of upskilling and reskilling their team members, in addition to the value of partnering with universities to recruit qualified entry-level talent.

In 2021, Nexford announced the launch if its Learn to Earn (LTE) pathway programs, aimed at connecting aspiring talent to businesses and facilitating graduate recruitment, with partners already confirmed from multiple large employers across Africa.

Initial members of this ‘Career Coalition’ include a diverse range of leading employers such as Allianz, Sterling Bank, Venture for Capital, Eva Pharma, Hassan Allam Holding and open banking fintech company Mono.

Employers participating in the program will share data about their workforce and skill gaps with Nexford, which the university will use to design tailored pathway programs for learners to acquire the ideal skillsets that best fit with the needs of partner employers.

Learners from select career coalition partners will be able to apply for partial and full scholarships when enrolling into one of the employer-focused pathway programs to gain specific certificates or degrees. Current employees of ‘Career Coalition’ partner companies will have the opportunity to be reimbursed for completing selected degrees with Nexford University on graduation.

Nexford is committed to solving the world’s biggest employer challenge – skills – and bridging the gap between learners and employers. The Career Coalition complements Nexford’s continued global expansion, and its commitment to enable social and economic mobility through high quality yet affordable American education, 100% online.

Fadl Al-Tarzi, CEO of Nexford University, commented:

“The Career Coalition program is designed to seamlessly integrate employer needs into Nexford’s programs – creating more meaningful connections between employers and talent. It will benefit learners, and employers, while reducing the amount of subjectivity that currently exists within the recruitment process, as well as the traditional learning & development process. Through purposefully designed programs and data-rich tools both employers and talent should be empowered to make more meaningful decisions.”

Jennifer Bangoura, Director of Career Innovation, Nexford University, commented:

From attracting qualified talent to maintaining employee motivation and retention, we are consistently hearing from employers, employees, and job seekers that they struggle to find credentials that align with workforce needs and have difficulty keeping pace with rapidly changing technology.

Through the Career Coalition, Nexford will act as a gateway for innovative, progressive companies that want to pre-screen graduate talent to fill roles. We are looking forward to working with all new and future members to boost opportunities for graduate talent across the world.”

The newly launched initiative will add value to Nexford’s already strong employer community particularly in the African continent, where hundreds of employees are already enrolled in the university’s recently launched Nexford for Talent (N4T) program.

Complementing Nexford’s existing employee upskilling offering through the N4T program, as well as The Global Grid mentorship initiative, recently launched and aimed at connecting talent to global remote employment opportunities, the Career Coalition program is another element of Nexford’s approach to rethinking the future of higher education.

Gideon Ataraire, CEO, Allianz for Ghana added:

“Learning, unlearning, and relearning is essential in employee development and that is why we do everything possible to ensure our employees are trained and developed every step of their career journey. Assessing talents, sharpening, and developing skills must be an intentional strategy for every company, hence our resolve to partner with institutions such as Nexford to make such strategic goal possible”

Tobi Lafinhan, Co-Founder, Venture for Africa said:

“Our vision at Venture for Africa is to contribute to the growth of African tech ecosystems by bridging talent gaps and building a strong pipeline of future talent. We are excited to continue to scale our impact with partners like Nexford University that are committed to finding new ways to address the growing talent density challenges in our ecosystem.

“We look forward to forging a stronger connection between high-growth start-ups in Africa and skilled individuals around the world looking for the right opportunity to devote their passion, skills and time.”

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We worked with professional translators for each of these languages to develop a reliable benchmark which can automatically assess translation quality for many low-resource languages. We also work with professional translators to do human evaluation too, meaning people who speak the languages natively evaluate what the AI produced. The reality is that a handful of languages dominate the web, so only a fraction of the world can access content and contribute to the web in their own language. We want to change this by creating more inclusive machine translations systems – ones that unlock access to the web for the more than 4B people around the world that are currently excluded because they do not speak one of the few languages content is available in.

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Language is our culture, identity, and lifeline to the world. However, as high-quality translation tools don’t exist for hundreds of languages, billions of people today can’t access digital content or participate fully in conversations and communities online in their preferred or native languages. This is especially true for hundreds of millions of people who speak the many languages of Africa.

 

“Africa is a continent with very high linguistic diversity, and language barriers exist day to day. We are pleased to announce that 55 African languages will be included in this machine translation research, making it a major breakthrough for our continent,” Balkissa Ide Siddo, Public Policy Director for Africa said while speaking about the launch of the AI model. “In the future, imagine visiting your favourite Facebook group, coming across a post in Igbo or Luganda, and being able to understand it in your own language with just a click of a button – that’s where we hope research like this leads us. Highly accurate translations in more languages could also help to spot harmful content and misinformation, protect election integrity, and curb instances of online sexual exploitation and human trafficking.”

 

While commenting on accessibility and inclusion in the pursuit of building an equitable metaverse, Ide Siddo added “At Meta, we are working today to ensure that as many people as possible will be able to access the new educational, social and economic opportunities that the next evolution of the internet will bring to future technology and an everyday living experience tomorrow.”

 

To confirm that the translations are high quality, Meta also created a new evaluation dataset, FLORES-200, and measured NLLB-200’s performance in each language. Results revealed that NLLB-200 exceeds the previous state of the art by an average of 44 percent.

 

Meta is also open-sourcing the NLLB-200 model and publishing a slew of research tools to enable other researchers to extend this work to more languages and build more inclusive technologies. Meta AI is also providing up to $200,000 of grants to non-profit organizations for real world applications for NLLB-200.

 

There are versions of Wikipedia in more than 300 languages, but most have far fewer articles than the 6+ million available in English. Following Meta’s partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that hosts Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, modelling  techniques and learnings from the NLLB research are now also being applied to translation systems used by Wikipedia editors. Using the Wikimedia Foundation’s Content Translation Tool, articles can now be easily translated in more than 20 low-resource languages (those that don’t have extensive datasets to train AI systems), including 10 that previously were not supported by any machine translation tools on the platform.

 

To explore a demo of NLLB-200 showing how the model can translate stories from around the world, visit here. You can also read the research paper here.

 

 

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