Edu Foundation was created in 2005, following the founder’s desire to promote young people’s access to higher education in the developing countries.
With the help of a group of experts who share the will to reinvest both their personal economic and cultural legacy in the creation of an instrument dedicated to the educational growth of the world’s South, Edu Foundation launched its activities in 2006 primarily by providing students, in several African countries, the opportunity to access university-level studies.
Only 9,39% (1) of young people attends university in Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 37,46% world average enrollment rate. Low entry rates to university education are mostly due to low incomes and widespread poverty, thus resulting in a lack of cultural and professional competencies while also preventing a well-balanced growth in those countries.
The goal of Fondazione Edu is to promote higher education in Africa, with the aim to compensate for the lack of education in developing countries.
African students are offered the chance to attend university in their country of origin, enhancing individual growth and enriching his/her professional skills which can support the country’s social-economic development.
Fondazione Edu therefore proposes a virtuous model with the ultimate purpose of enhancing the cultural and economic growth of these regions.
Fondazione Edu’s commitment has a particular focus on technical-scientific and agronomic studies, especially in the fields of agronomy, engineering, information technology, chemistry-biology, technology, medicine and economics, to foster the acquisition of professional competencies that can better contribute to the economic development.
(1) Gross enrollment ratio: the ratio between the total number of young people enrolled in schools (regardless of their age) and school age population officially corresponding to the educational level in question (Source: Unesco, 2017).
Allocating university scholarships is Fondazione Edu’s core activity. The scholarships include all costs (university fees) and related expenses (accommodation and pocket money). The grants are allocated to young residents in African countries so that, once the educational period is over, they can turn knowledge into action in their countries, thus stimulating development processes.
In the early stages of its activity, the Foundation identified solid and reliable local partners based in different African countries by supporting brilliant and needy students at university level, offering them scholarships.
In 2013 Fondazione Edu started its first direct intervention in Ghana, a country chosen after a feasibility study for its stable political situation, its perspective of growth and the good level of its universities. In Ghana Fondazione Edu works directly with two public universities and promotes the “Edu Foundation Scholarship”.
The student selection criteria, in all countries, include merit, social and family background. Moreover, the choice of technical and scientific disciplines and gender represent an asset. For scholarships to be renewed, students are expected to pass 80% of their year exams and maintain an average B level.
The Foundation monitors and evaluates its interventions with the aim of improving its actions and support to African tertiary education.
Board of directors
- Matteo Stefanelli – Chairman
- Tommaso Stefanelli – Vice- Chairman
- Giovanni Colombo – Director
- Claudia Ranzini – Director
- Nicola Caporali – Auditor
- Chiara Piaggio – coordinator
- Valentina Mutti
- Valter Corbetta
- Maria Luisa Monti