TEST for AFRICA was formed by a group of graduates from Linacre College, Oxford University together with Jennie Travers, who’s late husband John pioneered the formation of the charity Schools Around The World at his company, Cushman & Wakefield.
Its aim is to aid the social and economic development of Africa by enabling bright but needy students to receive undergraduate education at local public Universities and Polytechnics against their personal pledge to work for the benefit of their communities and their nation upon graduation.
The fundamental philosophy behind the formation of TEST for AFRICA is the belief that one of the causes of poverty in developing countries is a lack of education. By enabling bright, yet financially challenged Africans the opportunity to undertake local tertiary education through a programme of means tested scholarships in exchange for a personal bond requiring them to remain in their country of origin, graduates are expected to make significant contributions to the social and economic development within their communities and their country.
Having commenced in Ghana, TEST for AFRICA is continuing to establish a network of local charities in those African countries which have a record of democracy and stability. Our charities in Africa are organised and managed by local residents, the majority of whom have received postgraduate education at the University of Oxford (Linacre College).
TEST for AFRICA provides both full and partial scholarships for undergraduate study in a wide spectrum of academic and practical subjects which in the opinion of the local Trustees are best oriented towards the social and economic development needs of their countries and their communities. Awards are biased towards females (60:40) from the poorest regions of the countries, for University education (60:40) where appropriate, and are also available to handicapped students. Scholarships are offered to both new and to continuing students, and are reviewed annually against both need and academic performance. Those scholars graduating with First Class Honours degrees are invited to apply for the Norman & Ivy Lloyd Scholarship at Linacre College, Oxford University which provides full funding for one year’s Master’s degree studies in a subject of their choice. All Trustees of both TEST for AFRICA and their network of local charities, as well as local Universities and Polytechnics provide their services pro-bono, and consequently TEST for AFRICA Trustees guarantee that 100% of all donations received are disbursed for the education of the scholars. Moreover, each member of the TEST family is required to be transparent and publishes Annual Reports which are available on their web-sites. TEST for GHANA is currently organising both a job counselling programme and the formation of an alumni association, which members of the TEST African family will eventually follow as part of their evolution.
Since inception in 2008, TEST for AFRICA has made in excess of 500 scholarships awards in both Ghana and Malawi, and is currently aiming to begin operations in Uganda in 2012.
The ultimate aim of TEST for AFRICA is to provide support to enable the local TEST charities to become self-sustainable.
You can download a copy of the constitution here.
Jennie Travers - Chairman
Jennie Travers (nee Williams), who originates from South Wales, is a long term resident of Belgium. Following Secretarial College, and work in local Government she married the late John Richard Lewis Travers, former European Chairman of Cushman & Wakefield. In addition to being a member of the British and Commonwealth Womens’ Club, she is a Trustee of Schools Around The World, a charity which promotes increased aspirations among young people through educational activities whose opportunities are limited by social, domestic or financial circumstances.
Kim Erik Lloyd - Treasurer
Kim is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Birmingham, where he subsequently took a Master’s in Computer Science. He has spent his career with EDF Trading in London where he is currently their Head of European Power.
Leander was born and raised in Navrongo, the Upper East of Ghana. He read Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Ghana, became a Teaching Assistant there, and gained a Master of Arts from the Legon Centre for International Affairs. Subsequently he gained a Master’s degree in Forced Migration at Linacre College, University of Oxford, where he is currently writing his Doctoral thesis. Leander also has a Postgraduate Certificate in Managing Voluntary Organisations from the University of Southampton. During the course of his education he has gained a wide variety of work experience in education, government and social housing for homeless people.
Dr Nick Brown is the Principal of Linacre College, University of Oxford and University Lecturer in Plant Sciences. In addition he works with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Post Conflict assessment Unit which has taken him to Rwanda and Iraq. He is also Science and Engineering Ambassador, a science, engineering, technology and mathematics network, an initiative to help schools inspire young people.
David holds a BA in European Studies from Queen Mary, University of London, a Master’s in European Development and Integration from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels and an Executive Master’s in Management from the Solvay Business School. He resides in Belgium where he is a Sales Director at Sword Technologies, an IT service group.
Keith resides in Guernsey and has a BSc in Applied Chemistry from Liverpool Regional College of Technology, a Doctorate in Peptide Chemistry from Linacre College, University of Oxford, a Master’s in Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and more recently a BSc in Earth Sciences from the Open University. He enjoyed a career in international business management in the USA, and Belgium and is currently a Director of Hitachi Chemical Europe in addition to his family business interests in Venture Capital.
Sponsors and Supporters
Karl has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and a Master’s in Computing from Imperial College, London as well as a Master’s in Business and Administration from Exeter University. Karl was formerly a Bond Trader and Private Client Discretionary Portfolio Manager, and currently specialises in data management and IT. He is TEST’s Webmaster.
Ish is Ghanaian and has a BSc in Natural Resources Management from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and a Master’s in Environmental Control Management from Linacre College, University of Oxford. His career has taken him to many countries in Africa and elsewhere. He is presently a Member of the United Nations Development Programme. Following an assignment in Liberia, he is currently their Head of Management Support in Tanzania. Ish was one of the original founders of TEST for AFRICA.
Cleland & Co. Limited
Cleland & Co. Limited is a Guernsey registered Chartered Accountancy Practice and a member firm of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, who generously provide their services pro-bono to prepare the annual accounts and Annual Report for TEST for AFRICA.
EDF Trading Limited is a supporter of TEST for AFRICA. A member of it’s management team is actively involved and gives a great deal of time to our cause. We are grateful for the generosity and assistance EDF Trading provides
Each TEST charity is required to be totally transparent and to maintain proper accounting records to standards and time frames established by the Trustees of TEST for AFRICA and the Charity Commission, as well as all local requirements. They are obliged to publish an Annual Report which is to be openly available on their respective web-sites. (buttons to transfer to the annual reports)
Applications and Means Testing
All applicants must have a valid offer from their relevant accredited educational institution in one of the accepted disciplines and must file their application for TEST scholarship support with their proposed educational institution and not with the Trust itself. The specified time frame for submission must be respected and the application complete. There are no exceptions allowed for late submission or for incomplete applications, as any such application will be automatically disqualified.
Applicants are required to complete a comprehensive application form (button) which provides extensive detail of their background, family and financial standing plus a history of their academic achievements. All claims made in the application must be accompanied by appropriate documentary support as proof of that claim. Applicants who falsify any claim will have their scholarship withdrawn. The application form includes a 500 word essay describing why applicants feel they are eligible and how they intend to use their education to improve the socio-economic prospects of their country.
TEST Scholarships are not automatically renewed as students need to have demonstrated considerable academic progress in their academic work as well as have their financial status re-assessed annually.
TEST scholarships are reserved for those persons who are personally committed to their country. TEST is not for those persons wishing to emigrate and employ their newly received education elsewhere in the world. They are not loans and do not have to be repaid. Repayment is made in kind, through a personal pledge to remain in their country of origin and to work for the socio-economic benefit of their country. Accordingly, each applicant for a scholarship is required with their application, to commit to a five (5) year bond period following completion of their academic studies. The bond specifically states that they will remain in their country for at least five (5) years following their graduation and work in any field of their choice and contribute to national development.
This Bond does not prevent students from going outside of their country for further studies, but does require them to notify TEST Trustees in writing and renew their pledge to serve out any outstanding bond period after completion of their overseas studies.
List of Subjects Covered
TEST scholarships are available for studies in all subjects which the local Trustees deem to be appropriate for future national socio-economic development of their country. The only subjects which are specifically excluded from support are Politics and Religion.
List of Universities & Polytechnics
TEST scholarships are available for study at all public Universities and where local Trustees so decide, appropriate Polytechnics. Private Universities and Polytechnics are specifically excluded.
With the aim of providing more opportunities to persons who often would not be able to undertake tertiary education due to lack of financial support, local Trustees apply a gender bias to their awards with the aim of granting 60% of scholarships to female applicants.
Local Trustees may apply geographical bias where appropriate, such that applications from the poorest areas may receive up to 60% of the total awards made.
TEST endeavours to support the education of visually and physically handicapped. Where appropriate support facilities are available at educational institutions to accommodate visually and/or physically handicapped students, applications for TEST scholarships from such bright but needy students are encouraged.
TEST for AFRICA recognises the current challenges facing graduates in finding suitable employment upon graduation. Whilst TEST is unable to provide jobs for their beneficiaries, it recognises the need to encourage and assist wherever possible. This is either done through local Advisory Boards, or by local Supporters (generally business people) who offer their services pro-bono in providing guidance and counselling to its prospective alumni to give them a competitive edge in the job market. Such guidance and counselling may take the form of advising forthcoming graduates on how to market themselves, and may take the form of showing how to prepare a good curriculum vitae, teaching interview techniques, entrepreneurship, etc., via regional sessions.
In those countries where local TEST organisations have a cadre of graduates, efforts are underway to organise an active Alumni Association with the goal of providing a forum for social events, newsletters, fund raising, networking through their education and fellow graduates, supporting new alumni, friendship forming, business relations and connecting with people from similar backgrounds
Link with Linacre College, University of Oxford
TEST for AFRICA’s origins lie with Linacre College and that relationship is reinforced by virtue of the Trust structure with the majority of the Trustees being alumni. It is the desire of our Trustees to provide opportunities for others to follow in their footsteps and to give back to society.
Accordingly, a direct link has been cemented between TEST for AFRICA and Linacre College, in that the fully funded Norman & Ivy Lloyd Scholarship (co-funded with the generosity of the UK Department for International Development), which many of TEST’s African Trustees have benefited from, is now available on a competitive basis to anyone who graduates from the TEST programme with a First Class Honours degree. Applications are encouraged from such alumni to be made to the University of Oxford for one year’s Master’s study at Linacre College in a subject of their choice. This Scholarship is now available on a preferential basis to qualified TEST for AFRICA graduates
Each of the local TEST charities is encouraged to organise for self-sustainability within seven (7) years of its life span. TEST for AFRICA will provide advice and expertise in the generation of such plans and the sourcing of finance for such programmes, which inevitably will require a significant capital input. Such plans may include agriculture projects and possible real estate projects which will use the experience of local Trustees and may provide employment opportunities for some of TEST’s alumni.