The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) will join The Africa-America Institute (AAI) and the East African Development Bank (EADB) as an institutional partner in a new scholarship program that will enable experienced teachers and lecturers to earn postgraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the university to help build a skilled workforce in STEM fields in East Africa.
The EADB Math, Science, Technology and Engineering University Scholarship Program is designed to boost the number of qualified academics in STEM fields and to build workforce skills in the science, engineering and technology sectors in the East African countries of Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Qualified scholarship recipients, who will receive full funding from the program, will begin graduate school at NJIT in the fall of 2016. Along with Rutgers University, NJIT is one of just two participating academic institutions in the United States.
"We welcome the opportunity to partner with the Africa-America Institute and the East African Development Bank. We share their mission: to unleash the power of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic progress through achievements in STEM," said Joel Bloom, president of NJIT. "Needless to say, we are excited by the chance to train some of the best and brightest students from East Africa, and we relish the diversity and new ideas they will bring to our campus."
The EADB graduate level scholarships will provide full tuition, room and living expenses within a stipulated budget. Scholarship recipients must be a citizen of the EADB member states of Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda and commit to returning to their home country to teach in a public educational institution.
Skilled and well-trained professionals in the STEM fields are necessary to accelerate innovation, economic growth and development progress in Africa.
"By deepening the knowledge and expertise of experienced lecturers and teachers in math, science, technology and engineering, the scholarship program will effectively prepare young people to fill a dire deficit in skilled workers in the STEM fields and be part of the economic and social transformation in East Africa," said EADB Director General Vivienne Yeda.
Given the remarkable economic growth and progress in East Africa and across the continent, the scholarship program was created to fill a serious shortage of engineers, scientists and technology professionals. Today, there is one scientist or engineer per 10,000 people in Africa, the World Bank cited, compared to between 20 and 50 in industrialized countries.
"We are thrilled to partner with NJIT on this scholarship program. We believe our scholars will gain an outstanding education and world-class knowledge and expertise in their respective field," said Amini Kajunju, AAI President & CEO.
"After receiving their graduate degree, scholars will return home to educate a new generation of engineers, scientists and tech professionals," said Kajunju, noting that only 1 percent of young people in Africa are expected to graduate from university in a science or engineering field.
ABOUT THE AFRICA-AMERICA INSTITUTE (AAI)
Founded in 1953, AAI is a premier U.S.-based international education and policy organization dedicated to strengthening the human capacity of Africans and promoting the continent's development through higher education and skills training, convening activities, program development and management. For more information, visit http://www.
One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of 11,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks fifth among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to Payscale.com.