Carnegie Corporation of New York Announces $2 Million In Grant Support to Two African Universities for Scholarship Programs for Undergraduate Women


Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania each received a $1 million, three-year grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York to implement a scholarship program for undergraduate women as part of the Corporation's contribution to the Foundation Partnership to Strengthen African Universities--a coalition of four U.S. foundations. The scholarships, which will provide at least 118 women with support to attend the universities this year, will be launched in the 2001-02 academic year and will address financial barriers to women's access to higher education in Uganda and Tanzania.

"The Partnership is dedicated to strengthening reform movements that are already underway in African higher education. We believe Makerere University and the University of Dar es Salaam are educational leaders than can make a contribution, not only in their countries but in other institutions across the continent," says Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation. "Both universities have increased enrollment in the last decade, especially for women, and developed a targeted plan for addressing gaps in gender equity. The grants will enable Makerere and University of Dar es Salaam to implement initiatives to enhance women's opportunities in higher education in Africa."

Corporation staff members identified Makerere University and the University of Dar es Salaam as promising hosts for a scholarship program on the basis of their demonstrated support for the advancement of women. "Makerere was the first university in sub-Saharan Africa to establish a women and gender studies department," says Andrea Johnson, program officer of the Corporation's International Development Program. "The University of Dar es Salaam established a Gender Dimension Programme Committee as part of its institutional transformation program to pay attention to gender issues beyond the admission of more women students, including those environmental factors that affect retention, educational achievement, and general well-being," says Johnson.

"We believe an investment in scholarships for women is an investment in the creation of knowledge for Africa. The willingness of both universities to create units specifically dedicated to promoting gender equity is proof of their commitment to the overarching goals of the scholarship program," says Dr. Narciso Matos, chair of the Corporation's International Development Program. "They also intend to use these programs to leverage other changes within the universities to improve the prospects of women students."

Beginning in October 2001, at least 68 young Ugandan women will receive scholarships to study at Makerere University. Each scholarship will be worth between $1,500 and $2,000, depending on the course of study, and will cover tuition and fees, books and room and board. Selection criteria will include disadvantaged background, geographical balance, and degree status. These criteria will be widely publicized, along with application information. Admissions will continue each year for a total of 204 students by academic year 2003-2004. Once admitted, scholarship students will receive special orientation and will have access to other services, such as tutoring, to reduce the chances of dropping out.

In addition to providing educational opportunities for women, the grant should have a demonstrable impact on women's enrollment in the sciences, where women are most underepresented. The scholarship program will also be an integral part of a broader plan to promote gender equity at the university. Its visibility and capacity to expand women's presence on campus is expected to help focus attention on issues of gender inequality and build support for ameliorative action.

At the University of Dar es Salaam, 50 young Tanzanian women will receive scholarships beginning in October 2001. Each scholarship will be worth about $3,000 and will cover tuition and fees, books and room and board. Criteria for selection will include Tanzanian citizenship, academic qualification, and financial need. To build support for and awareness of the program, an eleven-member scholarship committee, including representatives from the government, the private sector and civil society as well as from the university, will review applications and monitor the program and the recipients' progress. Scholarships will be renewed each year on a pass/fail basis. Over the course of the grant, about 150 new students are expected to receive scholarship support.

In addition to providing new educational opportunities for women and expanding female enrollment, the University of Dar es Salaam aims to use this grant to build a culture of private sponsorship for undergraduate education in Tanzania.

The Foundation Partnership to Strengthen African Universities is a four-foundation collaboration launched in April 2000 by the Ford, MacArthur and Rockefeller foundations and the Corporation aimed at raising awareness about the importance of higher education in African development. The partner foundations are working collectively on research and communication, while maintaining distinct individual foundation grantmaking priorities. The partnership has announced an investment of $100 million in African universities during the first five years of its work. 

Carnegie Corporation of New York ( was begun by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 for the "advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." As a grantmaking foundation, the Corporation seeks to carry out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy, which he said should aim "to do real and permanent good in the world." The Corporation's capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of $1.9 billion on September 30, 2000. The Corporation expects to issue grants of $75 million this year in the areas of education, international peace and security, international development and strengthening U.S. democracy.