Equity and Merit Scholarships

Our Equity and Merit Scholarship Programme offers talented students from developing countries the chance to study for life-changing Masters degree programmes that are not available in their home countries.

The courses offered to these students are intended to address specific skills gaps or needs, and have included essential training in areas such as microbiology, law and development, electrical engineering, virology, educational leadership and school improvement.

Professor Alan Gilbert, former President and Vice-Chancellor of The University, personally led the development of the Equity and Merit Scholarship programme.

Equity and Merit student profiles

Jeff Murenzi, MSc Management of Projects (Engineering), 2011/12

Prior to taking up a place on the Equity and Merit Programme, Jeff worked in a new unit in the Rwandan Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. It was established in 2010 to manage all public infrastructure projects but at present it is heavily reliant on foreign consultants and this is obviously very expensive and not sustainable. The Ministry has given Jeff study leave in the hope that the expertise he acquires in will reduce their reliance on consultants in the future.

Upon completing his Masters and returning to Rwanda, Jeff will be responsible for a substantial project to build a new international airport as well as a new road linking Kigali with Burundi. He also plans to train others and improve the monitoring and evaluation of projects.

Ethel Nakakaawa, MSc Medical and Diagnostic Virology, 2008/9

Uganda has a chronic shortage of virologists and since 1984 only four Ugandans have qualified as specialists. Ethel had previous experience as a teaching assistant at Makerere University, Uganda’s top institution, but was unable to progress because of the lack of specialised training in Uganda. Since graduating last year Ethel has returned to the Department of Medical Microbiology at Makerere where she is using the knowledge and skills she acquired at to teach students. She is hoping to set up a new postgraduate course in virology to train the next generation of researchers and reduce Uganda’s reliance on expatriates.

Fariidah Chemisto, MSc Geotechnical Engineering, 2008/9

Fariidah applied to study the MSc in Geotechnical Engineering with a view to helping maintain and improve Uganda’s infrastructure. The lack of building regulations in the country has led to the collapse of many public buildings, including several schools. Fariidah graduated in 2009 and has returned to her job at the Ministry of Works where she is looking to introduce new building codes and regulations. She is also disseminating her knowledge to other students in Uganda through part-time teaching at Makerere University.