Barclays Kenya unveils Sh 63 Million scholarship program targeting 420 university students
Barclays Bank of Kenya has launched a three year scholarship programme targeting 420 needy and bright university students in order to create an enabling environment for them to succeed academically.
The scholarship will officially begin in the current academic year (2017) and Sh 63 Million has been set side for the first phase of the program. The initiative is the brainchild of the Bank’s Africa Group CEO Maria Ramos and is part of a Sh 12.5 billion Pan African initiative under the bank’s shared growth agenda. The Shared Growth agenda is aimed at providing education and skills training to the youth.
Each of the 420 students will get Sh 150,000 to cater for fees, accommodation, upkeep and a laptop. The Bank said the initiative will run for the next three years.
“This programme gives us a chance to impact the lives of young Kenyans who excel academically but are financially disadvantaged. It will support young people, who otherwise would not be able to pay university fees, access quality education and therefore contribute positively to the growth of our economy,” said Jeremy Awori, Managing Director, Barclays Bank of Kenya.
The good news is that the programme opens the door to students in both public and private universities. The bank says the selection will represent the face of Kenya by ensuring that the beneficiaries meet a 50:50 gender split; 4% will be persons living with disabilities and students will be picked from all the 47 counties in addition to ensuring ethnic balance.
Barclays has tasked Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to manage the process given their vast experience in the disbursement of bursaries and loans to Kenya’s university students.
The program comes at a time when many of the qualifying university students have access to limited financial resources or their parents/guardians cannot afford to pay the full required university fees.
To further drive uptake, the bank is working in partnership with the University of Nairobi, Strathmore, Care International, Shining Hopes for Communities (SHOFCO) and Ministry of ICT’s Ajira initiative to drive uptake. So far, more than 130,000 students have registered for the course.