Switzerland-based charitable organisation Krüger Foundation announced a $40,000 grant to enable the University of the People (UoPeople) to establish a scholarship program for Burmese students.
The grant aims to provide full scholarships for ten promising students in Myanmar to study at a leading US-based online university.
The Krüger Myanmar Scholarship Program will cover the costs of a four-year Bachelor’s program in either Business Administration or Computer Science, a statement said.
The purpose is to help meet the demand for opportunities for motivated Burmese students as well as for higher skills in the local economy.
Ten Burmese students will be provided with the opportunity to access education, and to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in the program of their choice, beginning in September 2014.
Interested applicants can apply for scholarship support upon admission to the University of the People and before they commence their classes.
“Our support for University of the People is meant to leverage the power of online learning by establishing a dedicated scholarship program for improving access to education in Myanmar,” said Christian Krüger, founder of the Krüger Foundation.
“The hope is that some of these students will also be inspired and adequately educated to further assist with the redevelopment and economic prosperity of their communities,” Krüger, who is also an impact investor, said at the Impact Economy Symposium and Retreat last month.
Myanmar was one of the four focus countries at this year’s Impact Economy Symposium & Retreat, which took place from June 13-15 in Switzerland.
Dr Maximilian Martin, the organiser of the event and founder and global managing director of Impact Economy, identified the EMICs including Myanmar as countries with exceptional potential for inclusive growth and modernisation.
The EMICs include Ethiopia, Iran, and Colombia in addition to Myanmar, and represent a group of high-stakes catalytic countries.
“In one of our sessions at the symposium that was dedicated to Myanmar, the importance of education and access to it for all members of society was again emphasized as a key to success in sustainable modernisation. Impact Economy is delighted to see the Krüger Foundation addressing this need,” said Martin.
At a time when Myanmar’s enthusiasm to catch up with its neighbours is at an all-time high, the country needs to overcome a number of constraints that are standing in the way of a sustainable middle-income future.
Building more domestic human capital will help lay the needed foundation in Myanmar, Martin said.
College and university students everywhere are increasingly finding themselves with additional obligations beyond just studying for a degree, including financial independence and family commitments.
UoPeople is an accredited degree-granting online university that provides tertiary education courses for students in 143 countries.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Krüger Foundation in order to sponsor a group of Burmese students towards their Bachelor’s degrees at University of the People,” said Shai Reshef, founder and president of UoPeople.
“We hope that others will follow the example set by the Krüger Foundation and join us in our mission to democratise higher education across the globe,” said Reshef.
In making this grant, Krüger Foundation expands its effort to provide access to opportunity for youth in Asia, a footprint that will now include Myanmar.