Published on March 14, 2014
Going 'Beyond Education’: Piloting a New Scholarship Model in Sub-Saharan Africa 14 March 2014
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program 2
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program: Context and Programmatic Need Developing countries have achieved a remarkable expansion in educational enrolment, however: Enrolment in secondary and tertiary education remains low, particularly among poor and rural populations There are concerns about access to quality and relevant education, even as demand for an educated workforce increases Many skilled graduates migrate to higher-income countries for better remuneration and working conditions International scholarship programs too often contribute to brain drain 3
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program $500 million, 10-year initiative to educate and support 15,000 young people – particularly from Africa – to act as “socially transformative leaders,” driving change and making a positive social impact in their communities 11,000 secondary-level Scholarships; 6,000 tertiary-level Target population: youth who have demonstrated academic talent, social consciousness and an orientation toward leadership, and who come from highly disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds Implemented with and through a global network of 20 NGOs and secondary and tertiary education institutions, which select and directly support the Scholars 4
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program: Program Components 5 Comprehensive scholarships Transition support 21st-century skill building Give-back component Alumni network
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program: Akwanya Initiative • Pilot program, 2012-2015: 85 Scholars • Recruitment partners on the continent who nominate suitable candidates • University partners invest at least 50% of the financial support for each Scholar • Matching ‘placement’ with universities based on Scholars’ academic and professional goals, optimum learning and community environment, etc. • Full-time program staff dedicated to supporting Akwanya Scholars in university and throughout their personal/professional development • Integration into the wider MasterCard Foundation Scholars network 6
Akwanya: Progress and Lessons Learned • 51 Scholars from 22 countries, with another 25 joining in August • Studying at 16 tertiary institutions in eight countries • Early lessons learned • The ‘cohort’ is key – students benefit in many ways from having fellow Scholars on campus (and ‘solo’ Scholars have struggled) • Relatively small financial incentives from the program make it attractive and viable for universities with limited funding to engage • Leveraging recruitment partners ensures a very high-quality applicant pool • Under-resourced international students are just as capable of success, given the right support • There is potential for incredible growth (high # of potential Scholars and of interested university partners) 7
Contacts Barry Burciul firstname.lastname@example.org Laura Kaub email@example.com 8
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