Sustaining Female Scholarships is Aim of Carnegie Corporation’s $1 Million Matching Grant to Makerere University

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Funds to Generate Momentum for Uganda University’s Fundraising Efforts 

Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York, today announced a three-year challenge grant of $1 million to better enable Makerere University to raise the funds necessary to ensure long-term financial sustainability for an initiative that provides scholarships to girls from under-represented groups and regions as well those who study science.  

Since its establishment with a grant from Carnegie Corporation in 2001, Makerere’s Female Scholarship Initiative (FSI) has received more than $5 million in awards from the Corporation.  During this 10-year period, scholarships and mentoring have been provided to more than 700 female students through the initiative.  The majority of the female scholars come from poor families and regions ravaged by either war or marginalization.  And of these more than 700 students, an extraordinary 92 percent have earned their degrees, a completion rate exceeding that of the university’s overall student population. 

Commenting on the grant, Vartan Gregorian said, “Since the seeds of civilization were first sown, women have been the hardiest and most steadfast of those who have helped to build our nations and our societies. Now, it is time that they take their rightful place as leaders, as well. At Carnegie Corporation, we are very proud to have been partners with Makerere University and with Uganda in helping to provide the women leaders of today and tomorrow with the education they will need in order to take the fate of their country into their own hands and lead it into a future of great promise and limitless success.” 

Gregorian continued, “The guarantee of matching support should help the university generate momentum for its fundraising initiative—which is a model in the region—while also broadening the base of potential funders.”

The challenge grant will accelerate Makerere’s efforts to raise funds for FSI, thus further ensuring the initiative’s sustainability. The university and Carnegie Corporation have taken a series of steps to prepare FSI for the eventual end in 2010 of grant support from the Corporation.  Preparation has included offering training in fundraising techniques to the scholarship initiative’s director and establishing a separate nonprofit vehicle associated with Makerere—the Female Scholarship Foundation—to serve as the umbrella under which continued fundraising will take place.  To date, the Female Scholarship Foundation has raised nearly $240,000 for FSI, primarily from Ugandan sources, and has made a further commitment to supporting twenty scholarships each year from internal funds.

The challenge grant will provide $3 for every $1 raised by Makerere over a three-year period, up to a total Corporation contribution of $1 million.  The university anticipates that $1 million would support 220 female scholars and that the amount the university must raise to receive the full match—$333,334—would support an additional 72 female scholars.

About Carnegie Corporation’s Investments in Female Scholarships

Over the past 10 years, Carnegie Corporation has invested in excess of $20 million to fund a variety of scholarships and fellowships intended to increase enrollment and retention of women, particularly in science and technology programs. Of the more than 5,000 students in South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria supported through this work, many are from disadvantaged backgrounds and from regions of their countries that are traditionally under-represented in universities. In addition to financial support, Carnegie Corporation's investments have included efforts aimed at encouraging the retention of female students and leadership opportunities. 

About Makerere University’s Efforts to Address Gender Imbalances

Makerere University was established in Kampala, Uganda in 1922 as a technical college for men, with the first women admitted in 1945.  The university’s Gender Mainstreaming Division (now a Directorate), under which the Female Scholarship Initiative is managed, was established in 2000 with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Directorate implements and manages the university’s strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of institutional policies and programs. The ultimate goal of gender mainstreaming is gender equality and women’s empowerment.