BYU–Pathway Worldwide expands across Africa, now reaching students in Ethiopia

‘I’m so thankful to God for the chance He gave me to participate in this journey,’ says PathwayConnect student Matewos Teferi Rundasa

In its continuing endeavor to provide access to a quality education all across the globe, BYU–Pathway Worldwide recently launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

New students for BYU’s PathwayConnect program

As of April 17, 15 students in Ethiopia are now enrolled in the foundational PathwayConnect program, which provides students with entry-level, preparatory coursework in subjects such as math, English and religion. After completing the PathwayConnect program, students are then able to pursue a certificate or associate’s or bachelor’s degree online through Ensign College or BYU–Idaho.

Matewos Teferi Rundasa, an Ethiopian student now enrolled in PathwayConnect, told the Church’s Africa Newsroom, “It’s a blessing to have BYU–Pathway in Ethiopia. I’m so thankful to God for the chance He gave me to participate in this journey. God told us to learn both in heaven and on earth; learning is the central purpose of our time here on earth.”

According to the program’s website, BYU–Pathway Worldwide is administered in 188 countries and in all 50 U.S. states. Of its 61,000 students, more than half are enrolled in the primary PathwayConnect program with roughly 40% pursuing a certificate or online degree.

In a Church News article in 2021, BYU–Pathway President Brian K. Ashton noted that cost is the leading reason people give for not attending college, and many BYU–Pathway students struggle to afford a degree. “BYU-Pathway is focused on building Zion by remedying the economic and spiritual poverty of students around the world,” President Ashton said.

BYU–Pathway offers tuition rates for PathwayConnect that are significantly lower than most other institutions, including community colleges. Because it functions in countries across the globe, tuition varies by location.

On top of that, BYU–Pathway announced in November 2021 a scholarship, or discount, of 10%, 25% or 50%, based upon financial need.

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Students answer a variety of questions, including inquiries about their ability to provide for themselves or their families and whether they have access to at least two meals a day, stable housing, reliable internet, etc. Their answers to the questions then determine their tuition discount. 

BYU–Pathway also provides a 25% tuition discount to returned missionaries for their PathwayConnect courses. And those who start their degree with the significantly reduced tuition from PathwayConnect can lock in those lower rates for their entire degree program. According to the Church’s Africa Newsroom, nine of the 15 Ethiopian students are returned missionaries.

BYU–Pathway Worldwide Availability

Tasara Makasi, BYU–Pathway Worldwide’s international area manager for Africa South and Central Areas, said receiving approval for Ethiopia was an answer to many prayers. “Many members of the Church have eagerly waited for this moment. I am so excited that members and friends of the Church in Ethiopia can now access the blessings of education through BYU–Pathway.”

BYU–Pathway Worldwide is available to all, both Latter-day Saints and non-members. Six of the 15 Ethiopian students are not members of the Church and are affiliated with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Peace.

Student Yenealem Debebe Hailu also told Africa Newsroom, “being part of the BYU– Pathway program has blessed me with the knowledge of how much Heavenly Father is thoughtful of His children and concerned about them getting an education. I have seen that PathwayConnect is inspired by God.”

A group of BYU-Pathway students from Ghana and their friends gather to work on course assignments.
A group of BYU-Pathway students from Ghana and their friends gather to work on course assignments. | BYU-Pathway Worldwide
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