Tan­za­ni­ans gain from Fee to Study

East African Business Week - - HUMAN RESOURCES -

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.

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