Each Tertiary Education Scholarship Trust (TEST) charity is required to be totally transparent and to maintain proper accounting records to standards and time frames established by the Trustees of TEST for AFRICA and the Charity Commission, as well as all local requirements. They are obliged to publish an Annual Report which is to be made available online here.
All applicants must have a valid offer from their relevant accredited educational institution in one of the accepted disciplines and must file their application for TEST scholarship support with their proposed educational institution and not with the Trust itself. The specified time frame for submission must be respected and the application complete. There are no exceptions allowed for late submission or for incomplete applications, as any such application will be automatically disqualified.
Applicants are required to complete a comprehensive application form (see Contact Us) which provides extensive detail of their background, family and financial standing plus a history of their academic achievements. All claims made in the application must be accompanied by appropriate documentary support as proof of that claim. Applicants who falsify any claim will have their scholarship withdrawn. The application form includes a 500 word essay describing why applicants feel they are eligible and how they intend to use their education to improve the socio-economic prospects of their country.
TEST Scholarships are not automatically renewed as students need to have demonstrated considerable academic progress in their academic work as well as have their financial status re-assessed annually.
TEST scholarships are reserved for those persons who are personally committed to their country. TEST is not for those persons wishing to emigrate and employ their newly received education elsewhere in the world. They are not loans and do not have to be repaid. Repayment is made in kind, through a personal pledge to remain in their country of origin and to work for the socio-economic benefit of their country. Accordingly, each applicant for a scholarship is required with their application, to commit to a five (5) year bond period following completion of their academic studies. The bond specifically states that they will remain in their country for at least five (5) years following their graduation and work in any field of their choice and contribute to national development.
This Bond does not prevent students from going outside of their country for further studies, but does require them to notify TEST Trustees in writing and renew their pledge to serve out any outstanding bond period after completion of their overseas studies.
TEST scholarships are available for studies in all subjects which the local Trustees deem to be appropriate for future national socio-economic development of their country. The only subjects which are specifically excluded from support are Politics and Religion.
TEST scholarships are available for study at all public Universities and where local Trustees so decide, appropriate Polytechnics. Private Universities and Private Polytechnics are specifically excluded.
With the aim of providing more opportunities to persons who often would not be able to undertake tertiary education due to lack of financial support, local Trustees apply a gender bias to their awards with the aim of granting 60% of scholarships to female applicants.
Local Trustees may apply geographical bias where appropriate, such that applications from economically deprived areas may receive up to 60% of the total awards made.
TEST endeavours to support the education of visually and physically handicapped. Where appropriate support facilities are available at educational institutions to accommodate visually and/or physically handicapped students, applications for TEST scholarships from such bright but needy students are encouraged.
TEST for AFRICA recognises the current challenges facing graduates in finding suitable employment upon graduation. Whilst TEST is unable to provide jobs for their beneficiaries, it recognises the need to encourage and assist wherever possible. This is either done through local Advisory Boards, or by local Supporters (generally business people) who offer their services pro-bono in providing guidance and counselling to its prospective alumni to give them a competitive edge in the job market. Such guidance and counselling may take the form of advising forthcoming graduates on how to market themselves, and may take the form of showing how to prepare a good curriculum vitae, teaching interview techniques, entrepreneurship, etc., via regional sessions.
In those countries where local TEST organisations have a cadre of graduates, efforts are underway to organise an active Alumni Association with the goal of providing a forum for social events, newsletters, fund raising, networking through their education and fellow graduates, supporting new alumni, friendship forming, business relations and connecting with people from similar backgrounds
TEST for AFRICA’s origins lie with Linacre College and that relationship is reinforced by virtue of the Trust structure with the majority of the Trustees being alumni. It is the desire of our Trustees to provide opportunities for others to follow in their footsteps and to give back to society.
Accordingly, a direct link has been cemented between TEST for AFRICA and Linacre College, in that the fully funded Norman & Ivy Lloyd Scholarship (co-funded with the generosity of the UK Department for International Development), which many of TEST’s African Trustees have benefited from, is now available on a competitive basis to anyone who graduates from the TEST programme with a First Class Honours degree. Applications are encouraged from such alumni to be made to the University of Oxford for one year’s Master’s study at Linacre College in a subject of their choice. This Scholarship is now available on a preferential basis to qualified TEST for AFRICA graduates
Each of the local TEST charities is encouraged to organise for self-sustainability within seven (7) years of its life span. TEST for AFRICA will provide advice and expertise in the generation of such plans and the sourcing of finance for such programmes, which inevitably will require a significant capital input. Such plans may include agriculture projects and possible real estate projects which will use the experience of local Trustees and may provide employment opportunities for some of TEST’s alumni.