New cohort of Brighter Investment students starts in Ghana

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A new cohort of bright and ambitious Ghanaian students has started their academic year with the support of Brighter Investment funding. These students, enrolled at our three Ghanaian partner universities (University of Mines and Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the University of Ghana), are now preparing to be future leaders in fields ranging from mining engineering to biological sciences.

As the program manager I travelled to these three universities with Richard Adarkwah, our Ghanaian representative. Richard and I met with university administrators, professors, and each of the nine students. One of our main tasks was to work out the process for signing students onto our program at each university.

This year's cohort includes students at various stages in their undergraduate career, with the majority enrolled as upper-year students. Several have run into financial hardship due to the passing or illness of a family member who was supporting them through school. Without support from Brighter Investment, many would have had to defer their enrolment.

It is clear that the students are grateful for the opportunity to continue their studies, but also understand that they are not the recipients of charity. They know they have a role to play in showing that income-based repayment can work. It is rewarding to see students taking an active role, for example, by making suggestions on how we can operate effectively in Ghana. One of our students sits on a student association, and this group has come forward with a proposal to help spread the word about Brighter Investment funding opportunities, on campus and in local high schools.

This was my first visit to Ghana, and it was certainly helpful to be traveling with Richard, a native Ghanaian. Although my efforts at eating fufu (a dough ball submerged in a rather spicy soup) appeared to be quite entertaining for our students, I did manage to get the hang of the secret Ghanaian handshake!
 

Heather Mannghana, update, background