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NGO steps up efforts to bridge industry-academia gap


By Naa Dzagbley Ago

The Joseph & Elizabeth Quansah (JEQ) Foundation, a USA-based non-profit organisation, has urged brilliant but needy students across the country’s universities and colleges to take advantage of the Foundation’s scholarships to achieve academic excellence.

The Foundation, founded in 2019 in the USA to support Ghanaian students who excel academically but lack financial resources for tertiary education, provides tuition, residential scholarships, and laptops to selected students who have gained admission to undergraduate programs in public or private educational institutions.

In addition to the financial support, the foundation provides academic advising, mentorship,
and internship opportunities for scholarship recipients.

Presenting laptop computers to some recipients of the JEQ Foundation scholarships in Accra based on their continued academic excellence and community service, Co-Founder and Co-President of the Foundation, Prof. Joseph Emmanuel Quansah, said the JEQ Foundation seeks to reach as many deserving students in Ghana as possible to help them on their path to higher education and realise their potential.

He said it is therefore important that the scope of support is broadened to enable many young people to benefit from the initiative. Since its inception from 2019 to 2023, 43 students from various universities and colleges have received scholarship support worth about 85 thousand dollars. He appealed to corporate institutions to come on board, as this will help bridge the much-desired industry-academia gap.

“We provide mentorship and internships to enable our scholars to have the needed industrial experiences before they complete their educational programmes,” he said.

Touching on some challenges encountered over the years, Prof. Quansah mentioned the lack of awareness for many more students to access the opportunities the Foundation provides. This, he noted, is worrying, as he believes there are more brilliant but needy students across the country who must be assisted to further their education.

He said, “there are very good students who lack the necessary resources to achieve educational excellence, so it is imperative that Ghanaian corporate institutions come on board to achieve this goal of assisting these people.”

The Ghana representative of the JEQ Foundation, Michael Nartey, explaining the criteria for selection, said students who apply for the scholarship after investigations are interviewed together with their parents or guardians to ascertain whether they qualify. Mr. Nartey commended the founders of the initiative and urged students to study hard to enable them to benefit.

A student is expected to have results of at least 4As and 4Bs from WASSCE or be a Graduate with a GPA of 3.3 to qualify.

“I run a school, and I know how difficult it is for some parents to pay fees, a situation which has led to many potentials going waste. It is therefore important that the JEQ foundation is aided to do more,” he added.

For her part, an aluminus and recipient of the JEQ Foundation, Hilvagard Maisha Musah from Takoradi Technical University, urged students to visit the foundation’s website to apply. She expressed appreciation to the founders and donors of the JEQ Foundation, as she is now working as a procurement officer after an internship with one of the companies she was linked up with through the assistance of the Foundation.

The JEQ Foundation encourages recipients to be socially responsible by asking them to perform any kind of community service in their communities while they are on scholarship. In view of this, about six recipients from the Takoradi Technical University, Bolgatanga Nursing College, College of Community Nursing, Winneba, Modal College, Sogakope, and the University of Development Studies were given new laptops for excelling.

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