Official UNESCO Monitoring of Scholarship Impact

Scholarships must change the game for the world largest young generation. We have launched new research into the impact of scholarships for students in sub-Saharan Africa. Our work is featured in UNESCO’s 2020 Global Education Monitoring report, as the official monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goal 4.b on scholarships.

ESSA Scholarships Statistic

Millions of people across the world's youngest continent are at risk of missing out on furthering their education and getting decent jobs.  

University and college scholarships must change dramatically to become more inclusive and reach a significant amount of young people to help solve this challenge. In the wake of COVID-19, the situation is ever more urgent.

We studied over 350 of the top scholarship programmes around the world, for students from sub-Saharan Africa. Our findings uncovered some of the biggest problems such as high student drop-out rates, high risks of fraud, limited support for students to find jobs after their scholarship, and limited access for students who need scholarships the most.  

Our research and monitoring of over 350 scholarship programmes features in UNESCO’s 2020 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report, on Inclusion and Education, as the official monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goal 4.b on scholarships. 

Read the report

ESSA Scholarships Statistic

ESSA Scholarships Statistic

ESSA Scholarships Statistic

It’s time for a collective response 

In response to the challenges we found, we have created a framework to measure the impact of scholarships, promote transparency and lead to problem solving. We trialled this framework anonymously with 20 scholarship providers that showed good practice in scholarship programming.

To change the game for young people, we are bringing together students, universities, scholarship funders and providers. Together, we aim to solve the challenge of limited data, influence policies and change programmes; improving young people’s access to higher education and employment.  

Find out more about our work on the social impact of scholarships here.  


For press inquires, please contact: gemma@essa-africa.org