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Écrit par Dr. Damaris Foping

Getting a college scholarship is easy if you:

  1. Understand the basic principles governing such awards; these are very different from those governing scholarship launched by goverments and NGO around the world (If you have not already done so, please start by reading this article about government scholarships, it might interest you greatly)
  2. You have been getting ready to apply for this scholarship months and more often than not years ago - I will explain.

Let's go step by step.

Let’s start with basic principles governing university fellowships

Unlike scholarships initiated by governments, what students need to understand is that the reasons that lead to the creation of universities scholarships are completely different from those that led for instance to the creation of government scholarship. What the university is after is not helping you or your country. They are after their own interests and therefore seeks only students with the highest IQ, athletic performance ... (this has nothing about just being plain selfish). What you must understand is that the universities are somehow companies whose customers are students.

What are the reasons behind the creation of university scholarships - Understanding this is important


You might not believe this but abroad, universities are constantly competing against each other and for obvious reasons – the higher your rank the more people know you and are ready to go distance for a seat in one of your programs. Even though tuition rates in some of those universities often are murder.


That having been said, how do you get to be among the best universities?

University ranking is done by all sorts of international agencies who base themselves on your students’ accomplishments:

o The number of inventions
o The number of scientific
or literary publications
o The number of Nobel prizes and other title
o The number of sports trophies
o The number of graduates who obtained employment
o The reputation of degrees awarded ...


As you can see the value of universities depends heavily on their students and/teachers. That's why these universities are constantly looking for the best (students and faculty) to join their workforce. They design universities scholarship in an attempt to attract the best students in their midst. These often are MS and PhD students to whom the care of research project will be assigned.

I mentioned above that these scholarships should be prepared months or even years in advance – why? Simply because you do not wake up a morning to be the ideal candidate for a scholarship. People that launch these scholarships are looking for proof of high IQ and excellence in the field of research or sport in a student, because going abroad is the dream of an overwhelming number of students in Africa. University freshmen should know that the preparation for a university scholarship that will happen after they graduate with their MS or PhD starts during that very first year at the university.

There are several types of university scholarships.


• Grants for scientific or literary
• The athletic scholarships
• The fellowships referred to
as more or less philanthropic


Universities and other research institutes abroad heavily rely on foreigners (students and post-docs) to carry out their research projects. In the USA for instance, laboratories are filled of Chinese and Indians. Why? Students from these nations stand out when it comes to previous scientific accomplishments, i.e., their number of publications.

I have never heard of an African student who didn’t wish going abroad at some point. With this in mind it is so sad that no one ever told them that a great scientific/literary publication can tremendously boost their chances; oh yes a great publication can earn you a scholarship. When it comes to going abroad for a PhD especially, nothing beats your number of publications.

For more on this subject click here

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