Community of Learning for Africa (CoLA)


The Project

CoLA is designed to increase access to knowledge and resources for PhD students working on their dissertations through African universities. CoLA is an online learning network developed by UNU-MERIT / MGSoG (UM) which aims to offer support for PhD fellows in Africa to conduct research and write high quality academic papers. This support is facilitated by offering content courses around the research themes of UNU-MERIT. In addition, the community offers a repository of useful open educational resources, and the option to obtain research feedback and platforms for discussion with other researchers.


Target group

The main aim of COLA is to build research capacity in Africa by assisting African PhD fellows locally, instead of educating a selected group of students in The Netherlands. We aim to connect to PhD fellows that are currently working on their PhD research on topics that fall within our institutional interest, and their local supervisors affiliated with universities in Africa. All participants on the platform (African PhD fellows and their supervisors) remain affiliated at their home universities, obtain their degrees from their own institution, and participate from abroad. Our platform aims to offer an additional service to both PhD student and supervisor, in the form of content training, access to resources and feedback.


The Platform

CoLA offers online training modules and online research support through our Moodle-based learning platform.
The platform includes three pillars of services:

  • Pillar one: Courses offering: Stand Alone and Tutored
  • Pillar two: Repository of open Educational Resources
  • Pillar three: Online community, with option to discuss, obtain feedback and offer support to other participants.

To explore, visit cola.merit.unu.edu