Makerere University Female Scholarship Foundation (FSF) was born out of the Female Scholarship Initiative (FSI) established at Makerere University in 2001 with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The goal of FSI was to support girls from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds to access university education thus contributing to the increased female enrollment at the University. Ten years down the road, FSI has:
- Supported 691 students with full scholarships and capacity building;
- Seen 645 of its beneficiaries graduate as doctors, engineers, teachers, development workers and counselors etc;
- Enhanced the knowledge and skills of the beneficiaries though an innovative mentoring programme;
- Developed strong network and collaborative systems with relevant ministries, organizations and schools;
- Profiled Makerere University as a gender-sensitive institution and a role model in promoting higher education for East Africa’s girls and women.
The FSI program has created a pool of young women with:
- Skills and knowledge for improved livelihoods and standard of living for the beneficiaries and their families;
- Leadership skills and ability to excel in the world of work and contribution to national development;
- A dream of changing the world through hard work and diligence.
- Philanthropic spirit of assisting the disadvantaged of society;
Out of the FSI success, Makerere University realized the need for a scholarship foundation to support more female students who would otherwise drop out of school after secondary school. While the university boasts of a good track record in managing the FSI, however, a foundation will deepen and broaden the initiative to include the private sector, other philanthropic and educational foundations in and outside of Africa, development partners, and other stakeholders towards sustainability.
Further, FSF is a tangible appreciation by Makerere University of the efforts by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, who did not only contribute substantially to the establishment and success of the FSI, but also greatly supported its sustainability drive. Therefore, establishing the FSF will ensure a diversified yet systematic financial development towards an endowment for a sustainable female scholarship program at Makerere. It will also ensure efficiency and transparency in resource mobilization and in scholarship management.
The goal of the FSF
To increase the enrolment and retention of female undergraduates in Makerere University; improve their academic performance with emphasis on the sciences; and give priority to applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds and undrepresented areas within Uganda.
- Increase the number of female students accessing higher education in Uganda/East Africa with specific emphasis on science disciplines;
- Mobilize resources for scholarships to enable bright but disadvantaged female students access higher education at undergraduate and post-graduate levels;
- Establish an endowment for the sustainability of FSF’s programs.
Ownership of the Female Scholarship Foundation:
FSF shall be owned by Makerere University Council and will be registered as a company limited by guarantee. The University Council shall be the primary guarantor, appointing a Board of Trustees to manage the operations on its behalf. This will provide FSF independence to formulate rules and regulations to manage its operations without having to follow the existing Makerere University’s financial, human, and other management procedures. FSF’s status as a company limited by guarantee provides flexibility in service delivery while guaranteeing full accountability and transparency to supporters, donors and Makerere University Council. It will also ensure that there is limited legal and financial liability to be borne by the University in the course of FSF’s operations.
Furthermore, FSF will be a publicly supported company operated for the benefit of the disadvantaged females in Uganda/East Africa studying at Makerere University. It shall raise funds from a variety of sources, namely, government agencies, development partners, the private sector, and individual donors, philanthropic and educational foundations, and provide a vehicle for other donors to support female education through endowments.