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Bogus scholarship schemes: What is the solution for Congolese students?

There never has been a time when youth from the African continent were so attracted to opportunities to pursue their studies abroad, mostly in European and American countries. It is a phenomenon that has been duly coined as a “brain drain,” whereby Africa loses its brains to other continents and countries at a time when they are needed most to develop their home countries and their continent. The migration of African intellectuals to better destinations in terms of education opportunities happens in two ways. While some travel financed by their own parents or families, others rely on bursaries, scholarships offered by diverse institutions that develop solutions for the disadvantaged who lack access to education or good education in their home country. It all doesn’t come without downsides nevertheless.

Fake scholarships trend while demand is increasing. As a consequence, a pattern has developed where individuals and companies use students’ vulnerability to defraud them. Congolese students are not spared.

To debunk scholarship schemes is not rocket science however. Red flags make it simple to spot a scam. Upon getting and examining a scholarship offer, students must ask themselves if it is too good to be true. Because most of the time candidates react out of naivety and that is exactly what financial predators expect from them.

Students must equally know that it is very much less likely that a serious company offering scholarships will require candidates to pay application fees, registration fees or any kind of fees. Students must be concerned when a scholarship asks personal financial information like bank account or credit card. In this case it is preferable that a candidate calls the organization to get assurances about the offer and its requirements.

Scholarships which happen to be opened to everyone are also suspicious, for the sole reason that scholarships generally and normally target students with a specific profile. A scholarship which has no record of previous winners is potentially bogus, and prudence can help to avoid such. Those are some of the things to be watchful about. However, it is not sustainable for the country to lose sustained numbers of its youth to other countries due to scholarship opportunities no matter how genuine the latter can be. What can be done to keep Congolese students from envisioning migration for academic purposes is to develop good and reliable education systems at home, so that students will be trained locally for acquired expertise to be used for their country’s development.

Students may also send a mail to admin@pero.co.za for assistance on spotting fake and genuine scholarship offers.

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