The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Gashora Girls Win Top Us Scholarships

Ten students from Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology in Bugesera District have been awarded scholarships to study their undergraduate programmes at various universities in the US.

The scholarship offer was announced last week to students who had submitted their applications for 2014.

The universities are Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Smith College, Hamline University, Bucknell University, Lafayette University, Trinity College, Goucher College, University of West Virginia, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The students will benefit from a total of approximately $1.9 million toward the cost of their four years of undergraduate study in such fields such as chemical, civil and biomedical engineering, architecture, finance and economics, computer/IT, according to the school's headmaster Peter Thorp.

"To have 10 of our girls accepted from the most competitive pool of candidates from all over the world affirms the quality of education the girls received during their three years at Gashora Girls Academy. I am proud of the girls and their teachers for their collaborative efforts that resulted in this stunning achievement," Thorp added.

He said the selection of her students is encouraging and a sign of the confidence US universities have in Rwandan students.

"I believe the almost $2 million investment in just these 10 girls is an indication that American universities are eager to support the future development of Rwanda. They believe that when these girls complete their educations, they will return to their homeland to become key players in achieving the goals of the country's development agenda," Thorp said.

Meanwhile, Gashora, Bridge2 Rwanda organisation, and the other leading secondary schools in the country, including Green Hills, Riviera, KICS, ISK, Sonrise and Agahozo Shalom have formed the Rwanda International University Access Consortium (RIUAC).

The goal of RIUAC is to enable the schools to share ideas and expertise and teach young Rwandans how to become competitive candidates for international universities as well to improve their readiness to attend the newly-created University of Rwanda.

Thorp said the members of RIUAC believe the consortium's efforts have already paid off, with visits from 15 American and Canadian universities between September and November last year, including seven of the Master Card Foundation Scholarship universities which offer full scholarships to the most highly qualified Sub-Saharan African students. He appealed to other secondary schools to join the consortium.

"These efforts make this an especially encouraging time for Rwanda's secondary students," Thorp said.

"By ensuring that our students receive world-class 21st Century education, I am confident many of our young scholars will be able to pursue disciplines that will directly impact the future development of Rwanda.

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