Fuelling Change Through Freedom

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Fuelling Change Makers: BSJSP Tertiary scholars graduate from university debt-free, allowing them to embark on transformative careers and entrepreneurial endeavours.

Completing university is a momentous achievement, but for many Tanzanian graduates, it's just the beginning of a new financial struggle. The cost of a tertiary education often necessitates student loans, saddling graduates with debt that can take eight to nine years to repay, with significant and immediate salary deductions ranging from 15% to 25%[1].

This financial burden puts immense pressure on graduates to find employment in a challenging job market. As a result, most of them enter the workforce with enormous stress and anxiety, affecting their career choices and life decisions down the line.

BSJSP graduates, on the other hand, have a different experience. As recipients of a BSJSP tertiary scholarship, they enter the workforce completely debt-free. This is in addition to years' worth of valuable skills developed in the Community Service program and knowledge through tailored mentorship and support from the Beyond St Jude’s teams. Consequently, they are better positioned to confidently pursue fulfilling careers, launch businesses, support their families, and give back to their communities.

Fuelling Change Through Freedom: David, a St Jude's alum and BSJSP Tertiary scholar in his last year of university, is a leading entrepreneur with a booming hair recycling start-up.

"With free, quality education at St Jude's from primary school up to Advanced Level studies and a full Tertiary scholarship courtesy of BSJSP, I am able to complete my education debt-free. This allows me to dare and pursue my recycling business without worrying about loan repayments." – David, BSJSP Tertiary scholar (watch his story here).

 The Tanzanian Education System

There are three key stages of school in Tanzania: seven years of primary school from Standards 1 to 7, then four years of secondary school from Forms 1 to 4 in Ordinary Level (O Level) studies, and finally, the final two years of secondary school, Form 5 and 6 in Advanced Level (A Level) studies.

Students who successfully complete Form 6 are eligible to pursue higher education at university, but the financial burden can be significant. Securing a government loan becomes highly competitive due to budgetary constraints and a growing applicant pool. A recent study by the World Bank indicates a decline in government funding for higher education, even though the demand is expected to double by 2030[2].

The Beyond St Jude's Scholarship Program (BSJSP)

In 2015, St Jude's launched the BSJSP. This is an optional program for our secondary school graduates to help them start the next stage of their lives. The BSJSP is available after the completion of each stage to both Form 4 and Form 6 graduates.

Once accepted into the BSJSP, our students undertake Community Service placements, volunteering in understaffed government schools, or various placements throughout St Jude's.

This experience not only strengthens their skills but also equips them with valuable knowledge, preparing them for success in higher education pursuits. After successfully completing their volunteer placements, they go on to access higher education supported by St Jude's sponsors and donors. Since its launch in 2015, over 112,000 government secondary school students have benefitted from our Community Service volunteers teaching core subjects like science and math.

The BSJSP vs the Tanzanian Government's Higher Education Students' Loans Board (HESLB)

While both programs support tertiary students financially, the BSJSP offers significant advantages:

All these factors add up to give our Tertiary scholars a better start in life, setting them up for success in their future endeavours.

Financial Implication: A side-by-side comparison between Beyond St Jude's Scholarship Program and a government student loan in the first three years of tertiary education.

Fuelling Change Through Freedom

The benefits of the BSJSP extend far beyond the individual graduates. Nearly 100% of BSJSP graduates are the first in their families to reach tertiary education. By entering the workforce debt-free, they have greater financial security to invest in their professional development or pursue entrepreneurial ventures.

Our survey shows a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit among BSJSP graduates. For every 10 of our graduates, one launches a business. Those who opt to enter the job market have an employment rate 10 times better than the national average, with many supporting their siblings' education and improving their families' living conditions.

Invest in the future of Tanzania. Support the Beyond St Jude's Scholarship Program and fuel the next generation of changemakers. Donate today to fuel change through freedom!

[1]   Tanzania’s Higher Education Students’ Loans Board

[2] World Bank Report (2021)