Tanzanians gain from Fee to Study
Under a special scheme dubbed ‘ Affordable Fee to Study’, over 1,000 students from Tanzania and other parts of southern Africa left for Europe, Asia and America writes DAMAS MAKANGALE.
In an exclusive interview with East African Business Week recently in Dar es Salaam, Universities Abroad Link (UAL), Founder and Country Director Tony Rodgers Kabetha said the students from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique, Botswana and South Africa now have a platform of education that allows them to choose which is the best university to go to for degree courses.
“For quite sometime, students from Southern Africa had no platform or appropriate agency to enlighten them on the best universities around the world, the marketable courses that have that have labourmarket driven demand and are well paid,” he said.
He said students from these countries can apply and secure scholarships to the best universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, China, India, Australia, Sweden, South Africa, Denmark and Norway with less, equivalent courses’ fees from their respective African countries.
Kabetha, an electronics and communication engineer, who turned to be an educator said the idea of having this unique platform came almost nine years ago when a group of students from Africa in the US started to think on the best ways to assist international students from Africa with relevant information on university courses in abroad.
“We decided to come up with this unique platform in order to give Tanzanians and other African students relevant information about the universities and appropriate courses that will suit them into the labour market demand,” he said.
He said UAL is also giving career counseling to students to ensure that they don’t pursue degrees that eventually will find them jobless and less marketable in the labour market in Tanzania, Africa and in Europe.
“What do you want to study? Where to you want to study? Why are you taking this course. We are simply giving them adequate and useful information even about the weather of the specific country.
“After that, we take them to Europe, America or Asia. Note that we are not sending them there, we are taking them there,” he said.
Before the establishment of the link between international students and universities international marketers, most of the African students as well as their parents, were cheated, receiving wrong information and then at the end of the day spending considerable amounts of money but gaining little or nothing in terms of results.
Kabetha said the most challenging thing to majority of Tanzanian students is pursuing degree courses that are not marketable.
He said the possibility of getting a job is almost 0.1% due to the fact that they had no career counseling by then.
According to Kabetha, the onset and surge of Information Technology has eliminated some jobs, but the existence of IT also creates other employment opportunities around the globe. “So it is a matter for the students to analyse these changes and work on them accordingly,” he said.
He said the most marketable and well paid jobs nowadays are petroleum engineering, energy, oil and gas economics, economics and international trade, ICT and IT Law, to mention a few.
“Another challenge and most cumbersome thing here at UAL, is to fix the admission and semesters timetable of Asia, America and Europe to go shoulder to shoulder with the African semesters,” he said.
UAL started life in 2006 providing information on university courses to prospective students. It turned out to be extremely useful for international students, so they now operate in countries all over the world providing helpful services for prospective international students.
Those services include a searchable database of over 100,000 cours- es, the ability to compare courses online, and loads of useful and timely advice through their online newsletters and student forums.
In August, University Abroad Has won a Trophy and a Certificate on the Awards hosted by Tanzania chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.
In this 11th Mwanza East Africa Trade Fair held at Rock city Mwanza. It was participated by many companies, organizations and education institutions. Universities Abroad Link (UAL) Won the Trophy and a certificate that certified University Abroad Link (UAL) to be the Number 1 winner in the categories of training and consultancy services, Abroad Recruitments and Career Counselors.
AWAY FROM HOME: UAL has been taking students to universities abroad for 10 years now and Kabetha says their services include providing advice that will allow them to choose the most marketable degree courses available.