MasterCard Foundation has launched a 10-year Scholars Program to train more than 700 students at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

The $20 million initiative targets scholars from verifiable economic disadvantaged background who have demonstrated strong academic talent, great leadership potential and are passionate about leading change and transformation on the African Continent.

“Everyone deserves an education,” says Reeta Roy, President and CEO of MasterCard Foundation.

Her Foundation is therefore committed to be part of Ghana’s social and economic transformation by giving young people the opportunity to develop their intellect and talent.

Vice Chancellor of the KNUST, Prof. William Otoo Ellis, says one of the best socially equitable decisions the University has taken in her recent history is to give admission to qualified students from less-endowed schools – these are mainly classified as resource-challenged and largely in rural areas.

The University gives admission to the top six students each academic year on non-competitive basis.

“Whilst confronted with these omnibus challenges and restricted opportunities to access to higher education, there is often the temptation to lose our sense of compassion to the strict quest to select for admission the best grades available on the market,” he said. “This is what makes the partnership between KNUST and the MasterCard Foundation a refreshing one”.

He says efforts to close the huge infrastructural gaps demand collaboration with educational stakeholders, as well as industry, to rely more on time-tested empirical analysis basis for solving national problems.

KNUST has a student population of over 50,000.

Statistics show that out of a possible 1,800 admissions offered, not more than 300 students are able to mobilize resources to come to school,” observed Prof. Kwasi Obiri Danso, Provost of the College of Science, KNUST.

He is therefore convinced that the MasterCard investment in human capital is worth it.

The Scholars Program at KNUST started in February 2014 and so far, two cohorts of scholars of 150 students have been enrolled in the past two academic years.

Danquah Stefan, one of the scholars, is enthused at the opportunity to be a leader of transformation.

The scholarship scheme, according to Ashanti Regional Minister, Peter Anarfi-Mensah, has created a new atmosphere of hope with great psychological impact for brilliant students from less endowed schools.

[Originally Posted on :]