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Bukavu - Grants for students

Grants for handicapped students!

Bukavu and its university (UCB)

Bukavu, Province of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, at 6.380 km from Woluwe Saint Pierre…
This Province in East Congo is slowly recovering from a long impoverishment due to the Mobutu dictatorship and the devastation caused by an imported war. In this post conflict context, basic education, but also training future executive leaders of the Congolese society are major issues.

Since 1990, the UCB, one of the Universities in Bukavu with more than 2500 students, is persistently working towards this reconstruction, with a recognized quality of its teaching and research, but also with a cruel lack of resources. From the beginning ICHEC has been involved in a partnership with UCB, in order to help it to develop a specific competence, i.e. entrepreneurship for small and medium-sized enterprises, which is vital to give a boost to the local economy.

The social service of UCB

Having a social service in a Congolese University is actually quite remarkable: admittedly the needs are enormous, but resources are lacking and priority is given to education...
The service has been re-organized, with the technical support of Mr Xavier Renders, former vice-rector for student affairs of the UCL (Belgian Louvain University), who works officially as consultant with regard to the executive committee of UCB.
Their budget includes a series of “student life” items: rehabilitation of a students’ home, cultural and sports activities. It is managed with the participation of students, whose activities (photocopying…) generate some resources.

 

Student grants and ICHEC involvement

This service is quite separate from the other items, as an indication of the importance of solidarity. A fund at the disposal of the University finances a policy in favor of underprivileged students. Money is put into the fund thanks to contributions from external organizations or individual people, but also thanks to the efforts of former students and students approaching local personalities.
Grants are given according to university rules and managed by a commission composed of various representatives, including students. This commission works in the framework of reliable awarding criteria and procedures. Their work is supervised by Mr Renders.
The grant usually amounts to 500$/year, i.e. the average amount of tuition fees. Fifteen grants were awarded in 2012-2013. Among the students, some of them are handicapped, living in very precarious conditions, but showing courage and intelligence that arouse admiration. For them, the necessary grant is estimated at 700$ considering the extra expenses resulting from their handicap.
In 2012-2013, two grants were awarded on the basis of a contribution from ICHEC Coopération Internationale.
We want to perpetuate this contribution: even if we expect an increase in the number of grants over the years, all in all it will still remain fairly modest…

Reliable grant awarding procedure

  • At the beginning of the academic year, an application must be made in written form and explicitly justified by the social service for particular students. The amounts are exclusively allocated to grants, i.e. 700$ at present.
  • This amount corresponds to the tuition fees for the students for whom the application has been made, and to the refunding of other school expenses on presentation of supporting documents (ex. Final paper or thesis expenses, purchase of course documents, books, etc).
  • Are excluded: administrative expenses, other interventions for these students or other students, allocations to other missions of the social service. The budget line is to remain absolutely specific.
  • In the case of a positive balance due to the fact that the amount received for such or such students exceeds the request, the amount will be paid into a specific fund and will be used exclusively for these students, or the tuition fees of the following year.
  • At the end of the academic year, an annual report and supporting documents are sent to ICI by the social service of the UCB.