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£1.2M scholarship scheme to support students from sub-Saharan Africa

Posted on 8 February 2021

Students from sub-Saharan Africa, who have lost one or both of their parents, are set to benefit from a £1.2 million scholarship scheme as part of a partnership between the University of York, Kaplan International Pathways, and Ashinaga Association in the UK.

The Ashinaga Africa Initiative empowers young orphaned students with a university education

The Ashinaga Scholarships, which includes a full tuition fee waiver, will begin in the 2021/22 academic year and support up to six students per year to undertake undergraduate study at the University of York. It is the first programme of its kind for a UK university.  

University of York Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charlie Jeffery, said: “We know from experience that young people who may have suffered personal tragedy and other hardships early in life, often struggle to find their way into higher education, despite having the academic ability to study and learn to the highest level. 

“If we do not find ways to support them, some of our best and brightest minds, who will contribute great things to solving some of our biggest global challenges, will be missed. 

“We are excited to be working with the Ashinaga Association in the UK in identifying the next generation of leaders for Africa and the rest of the world.” 

Leadership skills

Kaplan International Pathways will support the Ashinaga Scholars, who will join at foundation level, by working the University to offer full fee waivers for that year.  

Linda Cowan, Managing Director of Kaplan International Pathways, said: “The Ashinaga Foundation’s values align with Kaplan’s mission to provide access to high-quality education for international students. 

“We are thrilled that the University of York and Kaplan International Pathways can come together to support these scholars with fee waivers, to make-real the desire for these students to fulfil their education potential.” 

Ashinaga Association in the UK will provide a package of support including a bursary to support living costs, assistance with visa and travel costs, and participation in a leadership and skills development programme, which starts one-year prior to the students starting their degree. 

Finding solutions

The Ashinaga Africa Initiative empowers young orphaned students with a university education and leadership training so that they can identify problems and find solutions in their communities. The initiative aims to contribute to sub-Saharan Africa’s development by providing students who have lost one or both parents with the education, network, and opportunities necessary to become the next generation of compassionate leaders for Africa. 

Ashinaga Association in the UK’s CEO, Michael Rivera King, said “Our students are academically excellent, have demonstrated meaningful compassionate leadership, and are determined to contribute to the development of sub-Saharan Africa post-graduation.  

“The University of York shares our values and goals and is the perfect place for Ashinaga scholars to cultivate the leadership skills they need to make a real difference in the world.”  

More information on the scholarship programme can be found here.

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