Students, teachers, parents and tutors gathered at Botswana International University of Science & Technology (BIUST) Sunday the 20th October to celebrate the graduation of the first cohort of the Botswana Scholars programme. Over 90 school and orphanage students, ranging from 10-18 years in age, completed a 2 months tutorial programme designed to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to start a pathway towards university.

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The new programme, run by the founder Dr Goitseone Lucy Hopkins, founder and Director of the non-profit Education Access for Young People in Botswana, works with major universities to recruit post-graduate students; PhD and Masters researcher students to train them as tutors. Through this programme, students are taken through an intensive series of tutorials over the course of the programme with their tutor from the university to build their academic skills, life skills and confidence in their abilities. The programme targets students who are under-represented in universities due to their backgrounds, often from households where they will be the first to attend university.

Botswana Scholars was launched in 2018 with the support of AccessEd, a United Kingdom-based NGO that supports social entrepreneurs and universities in designing and building university access programmes that meet the needs of their local young people. Dr Hopkins, a scientist and also a Motswana from Mapoka Village now based in Gaberone decided to launch the programme with in Botswana after learning about the award-winning programme whilst studying for her PhD in the United Kingdom. 

After a successful first year, the organisation will be seeking a range of partnerships to invest in growing and furthering their impact by reaching even more young people across Bostwana districts year two.

To find out more about Botswana Scholars visit our GrowUni Incubator page.

To find out how you, a company, university or foundation can support our work in your geographic area, please contact [email protected]