The University of Gondar and Queen’s University join The MasterCard Foundation to provide about 450 scholarships to promising young African leaders and develop Ethiopia’s first occupational therapy program

TORONTO, CANADA (The MasterCard Foundation)―Ethiopia’s University of Gondar and Canada’s Queen’s University announced a 10-year, USD$24.2 million partnership to advance inclusive higher education for young people with disabilities in Ethiopia and other countries in Africa, as part of The MasterCard Foundation’s Scholars Program. The partnership will provide 450 next-generation African leaders with a high-quality university education at the University of Gondar, while also providing 60 of the university’s faculty members with the opportunity to study at Queen’s University, where they will enhance their skills in innovative pedagogy and in leading collaborative research between African and North American universities. The University of Gondar and Queen’s University will also collaborate to develop Ethiopia’s first occupational therapy program.

“We are excited to welcome the University of Gondar and Queen’s University to the Scholars Program,” says Peter Materu, Director, Education and Learning and Youth Livelihoods, The MasterCard Foundation. “Through their collaboration, these exceptional institutions will not only forge a new path for inclusive education in Africa, but will also bring much-needed perspectives that will enable us to better understand the needs of young academics living with disabilities.”

As part of the partnership, the University of Gondar will provide 290 undergraduate and 160 master’s level degrees in multidisciplinary fields that will encompass health sciences, law, education, nursing, and rehabilitation sciences, taking special care to recruit young people with disabilities, as well as young people from conflict-affected countries. The University of Gondar will deliver an annual Summer Leadership Camp for Scholars across the Program, as well as a robust, practicum-based experiential program focused on giving back to community, through service and leadership skill development in the field of community-based rehabilitation. The University of Gondar will also pilot new models of Scholar support services, by integrating accessibility tools such as wheelchairs and learning materials such as braille books and rehabilitation lab access, into each Scholar’s package of wraparound support.

ALSO READ: The MasterCard Foundation and ICIPE Set to Reach out to 12,500 Ethiopian Youth through Joint USD10.35m Initiative

“The University of Gondar embraces this partnership with great enthusiasm, for it comes with an opportunity to boost its vision of becoming a Centre of Excellence in rehabilitation and inclusive education, research and community engagement,” says Dr. Desalegn Mengesha, University of Gondar President. “This partnership will develop the capacity of both universities to plan and effectively undertake large-scale, people-centred interventions with multi-faceted benefits to the institutions and their respective stakeholders.

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