Kiron established a certificate program pilot in Turkey which will not be continued – students can continue studying on Kiron Campus

As already announced in our monthly newsletter (June 2017), Kiron was able to launch and successfully complete a separate certificate program with the collaboration of stakeholders in Turkey. The Blended Certificate Program graduated 95% of active students. The certificate program is distinct from the typical Kiron model, in that it offers offline courses and workshops, WhatsApp Groups, intensified student support, and has a three-month deadline for study completion. It was measured by specific material as a small community of learners in a predetermined timeframe. This cohort-effect led to high completion and satisfaction rates, with 22 of 27 initially enrolled students remaining active throughout the three months of the program (81% retention rate). Students felt supported and happily recommended the program to others.  After the program many of them directly sought career advancement through Kiron’s partnership with a non-profit specializing in employment assistance.

After a plausible evaluation of the funded pilot project, Kiron is closing our on-the-ground operations running the certificate program in Istanbul after August 2017 due to strategic reasons.

Irrespective of closing our operations in Turkey and not implementing further certificate programs, all students who are already studying with us from Turkey, will still have complete access to the Kiron platform and receive support from the available online services. Furthermore, another small pilot in Izmir is still on-going until the end of August which Kiron will also regularly complete according to our schedule.

Nevertheless, within our evaluation, we discovered that our expectations for the certificate program leading to a path of transferring students to university did not become reality and thus was not matching our big strategic goal of guiding our students towards an accredited university degree. In the limited time frame of the pilots´ exploratory phase in partnership with collaborators in Turkey, we have discovered that the full implementation of the Kiron Global Model was not possible in our time frame, preventing us from reaching the maximum impact globally within our given resources. As a young social startup we need to make sure to focus our resources in the best possible way and to align them with our long-term goals. Accordingly, and pursuant to our resource governance, Kiron decided to shut down our operational activities following the pilot certificate program, while continuing to assess the possibility of implementing the Kiron Global Model in the future.

Thanks to all our incredible supporters and partners including the higher education institutions in Turkey and our team who are not just sharing our vision, but also made it possible for us to explore operations in Turkey.

For any further questions and remarks, please contact Fabienne Huber.