Umma University in Kajiado County has launched a Sh1.9 billion scholarship programme.
The programme dubbed Umma University Students Support Programme (UU-SSP) will see 2, 780 students benefit from scholarships and interest-free study loans.
The programme, which is a partnership between the university, Africa Education and Development Trust (AEDT) and Direct Aid International, will run for the next seven years.
During the launch on Saturday, Umma University Vice Chancellor Idle Farah said the programme has been sponsored by Direct Aid International.
It will be managed by Africa Education and Development Trust – a non-profit making organisation whose goal is to empower communities through education financing.
“This programme will ensure that students access higher education and improve enrolment at Umma University. We have been challenged by Direct Aid that the shorter time it takes to utilise these resources, the more they will invest into the programme,” said Dr Farah on Sunday.
Dr Farah said last year’s pilot phase launched by the then Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed saw a total of 250 students benefit.
“The successful implementation of the pilot programme informed the signing of this cooperation agreement,” said Dr Farah.
He said this year’s programme has been staggered into different categories of beneficiaries where 1, 460 students will receive partial scholarships with the remaining part of the fees offset by interest-free loans, repaid in flexible monthly instalments.
The first category will see 125 students get 80 per cent scholarships and 20 per cent interest-free loans to constitute 100 per cent tuition fee.
The next category will see 14 students get 70 per cent scholarship with the balance offset by interest-free loan.
A total of 420 students will get half scholarships and half interest-free loan, another 350 will be accorded 30 per cent scholarships and 70 per cent interest-free loans, while 425 students will get 20 per cent scholarships and 80 per cent interest-free loans.
The last category will see a total of 1, 320 students benefit solely from 100 per cent interest-free loan.
Dr Farah said that the financial aid also has components of work-study, mentorship and community service programmes aimed at equipping the students with job-market skills.
“Through the programme, beneficiaries will also be equipped with job skills, encouraged and supported to be involved in volunteerism and community service,” he said.