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U4all Scholarship

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Why Nicaragua?

Nicaragua is the poorest country in Latin America. 60% of the population lives in poverty. Only a small percentage of the population has access to basic education and even less to university education.

However, nowadays there is a demand for skilled professionals, who need a full academic training. Access to such training remains an economic barrier, which leaves out thousands of Nicaraguan young people.
 

Education in Nicaragua

The worst affected districts are mostly rural municipalities and communities. In these areas, the enrolment of children of primary school age reaches 70%, while in urban areas reaches 90%. Population growth is one of the causes, leaving thousands of students without school places.

In secondary education this situation is even more worrying. Only 45% of Nicaraguan teenagers are enrolled, because many families depend on their children contribution to family income.

Nicaraguan university education has, along with Honduran, the lowest percentage of university students in Latin America. Only 12% of the population of the corresponding age group are enrolled.  The lack of places and the high costs leaves low-income students out. Moreover, while enrolment costs are low in public universities, the annual cost of education (for example, transportation, books and supplies) amounts to more than half the income per capita.

In Nicaragua, university education remains a benchmark of economic status.
 

U4all Scholarships Nicaragua

U4all cooperation project is done through the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua- León (UNAN-León), the oldest and largest university in the country.

Although 80% of students who apply for a scholarship at the university comes from the poorest areas of Nicaragua (in the north of the country), the budget for grants to support low-income students is limited. U4all therefore aims to facilitate access to university studies at the UNAN-León to those students who failed to obtain a state scholarship.

Thanks to a partnership agreement between U4all and UNAN-León (Annex I), the University will provide us with a shortlist of scholarships applications that can not be covered by their budget. They will also certify as accurate the socio-economic reports of the applicants. Applications may only be formalized through the Scholarship Program UNAN-León.

In a second phase, U4all will evaluate the applications and select the scholarship holders based primarily on socio-economic criteria (U4all Scholarships Regulation: Annex II)

Finally, every three months U4all will send the relevant amount to a bank account of UNAN-León, who will be responsible to deliver it to each student.

U4all Scholarships Nicaragua consist of a monthly amount of 600 Córdobas (about 22 Euros, the equivalent to scholarships from UNAN-León), which covers the costs for a student (food, transportation, school supplies, etc). The annual scholarship (scholarship is 12 months per year) has a cost of €264. Therefore € 1,168 is enough to finance a full university degree of five years. In addition, access to the university during the first year is the most difficult for students, because once a student in the lower socio-economic groups has completed the first year, is more likely to receive a state grant. If this happens, the U4all scholarship can be allocated to another student.

In order to demonstrate the transparency of the process, a statement of income and expenditure will be publicly presented, including the transfers to UNAN and the contribution of each donor. This report will be accompanied by the bank receipts of the relevant transfers.
 

U4all Scholarships Nicaragua in the future

U4all will open its scholarship process to all public universities in Nicaragua to make access to them more equal.

In subsequent calls, we also intend that U4all Scholarships Nicaragua covers the costs of accommodation for students who need to travel to the city to continue their education.

Once the program is fully operational in Nicaragua, the Scholarship Program will expand to other countries.