Autodesk will be making available its technology and resources to education institutions in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria to help train students in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software.

The company recently expanded its Academic Resource Centre (ARC) programme to include these three new African countries.

Delivery of the software will be made available an online portal that allows education institutions to download educational versions of Autodesk’s design software free of charge for use in their classrooms or computer labs.

The expansion of the program to some of the countries in Africa demonstrates Autodesk’s commitment to supporting the next generation of architects, engineers, designers and digital artists worldwide.

Access to the software and resources helps instructors teach design concepts as well as established industry processes such as building information modelling (BIM), digital entertainment creation, digital prototyping, and sustainable design.

“This scalable initiative enables us to provide thousands of schools in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria with access to the latest Autodesk software and training,” says Lisa Taylor at Educad, Autodesk’s local partner in South Africa.

“Through this programme, up to 30-million students over the next decade will have access to the tools used by design professionals around the world, and ultimately influence the future of design an innovation in Africa.”

In addition to the program for educational institutions, Autodesk provides all students worldwide with free-of-charge access to the latest 3D design software for personal, non-commercial use.

With the latest release of Autodesk 2013 design products, there are now more than 35 software titles available to them through the Autodesk Education Community. Through this online community, students can also download learning resources, search for internships and jobs, showcase their designs and discuss design topics with peers.

In addition, educators can download software for personal use, download curricula to support their classroom activities, and connect with peers to exchange best practices within the secured site. Since its launch in 2006, the community has expanded to more than 6,5-million members representing students and educators at more than 150 000 institutions in over 200 countries.