Ashesi University College has one ambitious mission for its students: ethical leadership.
The institution’s curriculum focuses on applying ethical models and gender inclusion into the African workforce. The private liberal arts college in Ghana’s Eastern region uses their continental and global position as motivation to educate a new generation of ethical and entrepreneurial leaders in Africa, which remains to be a constant struggle within the region.
The institution established Africa’s 1st ever institutional honor code. Ashesi’s reputation is one that raises the bar for higher education and leadership training in Africa.
As the African continent remains that with the lowest percentage of higher education enrollment, very few Africans have the chance to attend university. Those who do are already destined to become leaders. Ashesi, which means ‘beginning’ in local language Twi, aims to provide deserving students with an affordable educational experience that fosters ethical leadership, an entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to solve complex problems. These qualities are what set Ashesi students and alumni apart. Across various industries today, Ashesi graduates are highly sought, and over 90% have stayed to work for progress in Africa.
But it is a challenge. Ghana and neighboring countries are consistently rated high in government corruption and burdened with inequality. It makes sense that Ashesi’s approach to teaching ethics stretches over the entirety of student’s four-year long career at the college. The gender-balanced university continues to make positive strides for higher education, in Africa and around the world. Sitting at the top of a hill, located in the town of Berekuso in Ghana’s Eastern region, the university’s 100-acre well manicured campus offers its students an oasis to learn. The ‘Ashesi way’ teaches students to reflect on the outcomes of their actions, and ultimately view themselves as the beginning of an ethical society.
It is the hope that other African institutions will embed ethical leadership within its curriculum, taking this on as a “new normal” for the region’s businesses and universities. Ana Tarlas is the Communications & Event Planning Intern at the Global Business School Network