The Equity Bank airlifts to global universities scored yet another milestone yesterday after flagging off a new batch of 64 beneficiaries, taking the programme economic value to the country to a landmark Sh11.13 billion.
The latest cohort increased the Equity Bank Foundation scholars to 465 scholars who have secured admissions to top universities abroad, including Ivy League institutions, on full scholarship.
Besides the tuition scholarship, the bank also extended a stipend of between Sh100,000 and Sh200,000 to each of the 64 scholars leaving the country, totalling to Sh11.4 million for their travel and other essentials.
Some of the universities where the students have been admitted to include Harvard, University of British Columbia, Yale, Stanford University, Princeton, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Amherst College, Brown University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Michigan State University, University of Toronto, University of Manchester, African Leadership University, University of Cape Town, Budapest University of Technology, among others.
Speaking during the send-off ceremony, Equity Group CEO and Executive Chairman of Equity Group Foundation, Dr James Mwangi, advised the beneficiaries to exploit the extraordinary opportunities for academic excellence, leadership training, networking and global exposure that the scholarships offer.
“This global experience is only available to a select few and will shape your mindset and set you on a path to influence your community and contribute to the socio-economic transformation of our country. Take advantage of the numerous opportunities to build global networks and get a world-class all-round education. You will inspire other secondary school students back here in Kenya to believe that they can realise their dreams and compete on the global stage with other scholars from around the world,” said Mwangi.
He noted that the majority of the students who have been enrolled in the programme over the years are pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) courses, which are the bedrock of the country’s economic growth agenda.
The 2018 cohort are part of a larger group of 12,236 scholars in the Equity Leaders Programme (ELP). The students have already gone through a year’s mentorship and a paid internship programme at the Bank, which is fashioned as an advanced leadership development training. ELP is run by Equity Bank and coordinated by Equity Group Foundation which is the social investment subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings Plc.
To prepare the scholars for their arrival in universities abroad, the bank facilitated 33 ELP scholars already in international universities to come home for the Global Summer Internship Programme (GSIP) run by Equity Group Foundation to mentor the 2018 applicants.