October 30, 2013

Microsoft 4Afrika Scholarship Program for African Students

4Afrika Scholarship Program

Course(s) Offered: Computer Science, Business Admin
Course Level: Undergraduate, Training
Provider: Microsoft; UoPeople
Country to Study in: Online

Scholarship Description
In recognition of International Youth Day on August 12, 2013, Microsoft introduced the 4Afrika Scholarship program, through which the company will provide mentorship, leadership and technical training, certification, university-level education and employment opportunities for promising African students.

The Microsoft 4Afrika Scholarship program is designed to help develop Africa’s future leaders by ensuring they have access to the education and skills they need to succeed. Together with partners, the goal is to deliver mentorship, training, certification, university-level education and employment opportunities for promising young African leaders, at no cost.

Microsoft is joining forces with University of the People (UoPeople) as the first partner institution, sponsoring 1,000 scholarships in the coming year for students wishing to attend. UoPeople is the world's first tuition-free, degree-granting, non-profit online institution, offering associate degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration.

Microsoft 4Afrika Scholarship Program for African Students

Students wishing to apply for 4Afrika Scholarships to attend University of the People must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma and proficient English, as all its coursework is English-language.

They must also have access to the Internet to be able to participate in the online classes.

To help address the connectivity issue, the company is making available working space in its Microsoft Innovation Centers in Tunisia, Tanzania, Uganda and Botswana for successful applicants near those locations. In addition, Microsoft is working with various partner hubs across Africa to make similar arrangements for students in other locations.

Selection criteria:
More information regarding the scholarship selection process will be available for relevant candidates in the coming weeks.

Eligible groups
Citizens of ALL African countries

Participating Institutions
UoPeople is our first participating higher ed institution, but it is our intent to offer scholarships at other African institutions, across the continent, in the future.

Together with participating education institutions, Microsoft’s goal with the 4Afrika Scholarship program is to level the playing field for talented young African minds who might not otherwise have the resources, enabling them to get the education and skills they need to thrive in technology-related fields. The 4Afrika Initiative was designed to help ensure that Africa can become globally competitive, and investing in our highly motivated youth is a critical step toward making that a reality.

Fields of study
Two degrees will be available via the 4Afrika Scholarship program with UoPeople: an Associate of Science in Business Administration (AS-BA) degree or an Associate of Science in Computer Science (AS-CS) degree.

Number of awards
UoPeople and Microsoft will support 1,000 African students to graduate with a world-class academic degree

Sponsorship duration
An associate degree takes a minimum of two years but students are permitted up to three years from the date of their commencement of Associate Degree studies to complete their degree with 4Afrika Scholarship support.

Scholarship benefits
UoPeople is tuition-free, although students do incur costs related to registration and required exams which amount to several thousand dollars per student over the course of their degree. It is these costs that Microsoft will cover through the 4Afrika Scholarships.

Students receiving 4Afrika Scholarships will have access to mentors from Microsoft’s global employee base. Mentors will be assigned based on students’ individual goals and needs.

Various Microsoft technical training and certification will be offered, including Microsoft Office Certification, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist and others. We will also offer entrepreneurship and leadership training to help improve employability.

Microsoft regularly gets feedback from our network of more than 10,000 African partners that they have a hard time finding skilled people to meet their specific needs. Through this program, we will be working to match graduating students with the appropriate skillsets into known openings within our partner community. We will also take some graduates into our own offices but expect the majority of the placements to be with our partners. We have successfully managed this type of placement through our Student to Business program for many years in Africa and around the world. More here.

Method of Application
UoPeople has three specific admission requirements: students must be over 18 years of age, have a high school diploma, and proficient English. In addition, students must have access to reliable internet connection. The application process consists of two parts. Part 1 takes place online and requires the applicant to fill out personal information and respond to essay questions. Part 2 takes place offline, and consists of sending a set of required documents to the University, as detailed on UoPeople’s admissions page.

Both the online application form and the required documents must be received by the University before an applicant will be considered for admission. In addition, all applicants for the 4Afrika Scholarship program must complete an online selection test as part of their application process. Students who successfully pass this test will be considered for the award of a scholarship. Once accepted, students must also complete the mandatory course, Online Education Strategies. This course prepares students for the online learning environment, enhancing computer literacy and study skills.

Applications for 4Afrika Scholarships to University of the People can be submitted on the following site: www.uopeople.org/4afrika.

The application deadline counter displays the amount of days you have to complete your application. Applications that are not completed within the specified timeframe will be automatically closed.

Applications are only considered complete once the online application has been completed and submitted, and all required documents have arrived to the UoPeople office.

The University runs 5 academic terms over the year. UoPeople will start admitting students in October 2013, with the first group commencing in November 2013.Scholarships will be granted on a rolling admission basis over 5 terms in the year, and applicants will be notified before committing to their studies.

This scholarship will be available for eligible students beginning their studies in Term 2, 2013. Students wishing to begin their studies in Term 2, 2013 should complete their entire application no later than October 3, 2013 and will be informed of acceptance to UoPeople by October 24, 2013. The next registration deadline would be December 12, 2013, with applicants informed of acceptance to UoPeople by January 2, 2014.

Students will be notified of the award of a scholarship within 3 weeks of the notice of admission and prior to commencing their studies. For subsequent deadlines, interested applicants are advised to check UoPeople's academic calendar.

The 4Afrika Initiative was designed to help ensure that Africa can become globally competitive, and investing in our highly motivated youth is a critical step toward making that a reality (see official Microsoft news announcement here). We believe that if someone is motivated and inspired to study and work toward employment in the IT industry, they should have the chance to do so, regardless of their financial situation.

If you have any questions on how to complete your application or what documents to send, please contact admissions@uopeople.org.

Application Deadline: 3 October / 12 December 2013
Open to International students: No (ONLY Africans)

More Scholarship Information and Application(UoPeople site)
More Scholarship Information and Application(Microsoft site)

Related: Tuition Free Scholarships for Online Courses at UoPeople 

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