One of the worlds best distance learning schools, is giving students from Africa an opportunity of a lifetime.
a new program at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh Business School, up to 250 students from Africa will be given full scholarships to enter Edinburgh’s online M.B.A. — considered one of the world’s best distance-learning business degrees.
“We wanted to establish an initiative to promote life-long learning across the continent,” said Professor Keith Lumsden, director of Edinburgh Business School. “Africa needs assistance to help develop its full potential, and with these scholarships we are offering 250 individuals the chance to make a difference – not only to their own lives but to the wider communities around them.”
With more than 8,000 students scattered across the globe, the Edinburgh M.B.A. program puts all lectures and reading material online. Exams are held twice a year in more than 350 centers around the world, including African countries from Algeria to Zimbabwe.
“The exams they sit are exactly the same as students in Edinburgh or New York,” said Alick Kitchin, the school’s business director and a key architect of the scholarship scheme. “There is no easy ride.”
Made up of nine courses, each costing £650, or $1,015 — students in Africa, India and China already are charged a reduced fee; European and American students pay £800 per course — the M.B.A. would otherwise cost nearly £6,000.
For Joma Simuyi, who graduated in November, managing to finish the five-year course in just two years, the value of her degree can’t be measured in money alone. “It really opened me up to new ideas and new ways of thinking,” she said. “I’ve worked in government for 20 years, first at the Ministry of Finance and now at Agriculture. And though most of the cases we studied were in the business or financial sectors, the same things we learned commercially can be applied in the public sector.”
This is a good program and more universities should follow this lead, giving access to higher education to people across the world that might not have the financial means to attend such universities.