At the end of Senior 6, the final year of secondary school, students take national exams that will determine their next steps. Based on their results, students could be eligible to attend a university, or they may continue their post-secondary education at the vocational/technical level. University scholarships are highly competitive, and only a few students qualify for government loans, which must be paid back after graduation.
After completing secondary school, students have a gap while they wait to learn their options for post-secondary programs. During this time, students attend our Dream Leadership Academy (DLEAD), where they receive weekly training in leadership, entrepreneurship, discipleship, biblical literacy, resume writing, and communication skills. This program is designed to help prepare students for life after secondary school.
If you sponsor a student in DLEAD, the U.S. office will contact you directly with options to continue your sponsorship at the post-secondary level.
Read the Frequently Asked Questions below to learn more about our Post-Secondary Sponsorship Program:
Vocational programs typically last one and a half to two years, and students graduate with a certificate or diploma. Some of the areas of study for post-secondary vocational students include: business, catering, construction, information technology, media and tourism. Post-secondary vocational students have an Africa New Life reference code that begins with VT.
University programs typically last four years, with programs in the medical field extending up to five years. Students will earn either a Bachelor’s degree or an advanced diploma, depending on their program. Many of our students attend universities in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, but some of our students attend schools in other parts of Rwanda, or even in Uganda or Kenya. Some of the courses (majors) our students are studying include: accounting, applied mathematics, business management, commerce, engineering, human resource management, law, marketing, medicine, and social work. The Rwandan government requires all students to complete an internship before graduating. Sponsored university students have an Africa New Life reference code that begins with RCS.
Through the Esther College Scholarship Program, Africa New Life Ministries provides a university education for exceptional young women who demonstrate Christian character, leadership, and academic rigor. These women come from very poor families. Each year, approximately 15 amazing women receive this life-changing opportunity to continue their education. In addition to attending university, the women volunteer their time to improve the community where they live, receive leadership training, participate in a mentorship program, and learn basic finance management. Esther College Scholarship recipients have an Africa New Life reference code that begins with ECS.
Sponsorship rates for our post-secondary programs vary, but generally cover tuition, various academic fees at school, discipleship by Africa New Life staff, and our annual camp. Depending on a sponsor’s pledge amount, students may receive an additional monthly stipend to assist with living expenses (i.e. transportation, rent, and food). Starting in 2022, newly sponsored university students will also receive a personal laptop in their second or third year, the cost of which is included in their sponsorship rate. Post-secondary vocational programs do not require that students have personal laptops, so this cost is not included in their sponsorship rates.
As of 2022, the support needed to sponsor a university student ranges from $200-$325/month. Students at the $200/month level receive a monthly stipend to help cover the cost of transportation to school, and students with higher sponsorship rates receive a greater monthly stipend that helps with additional living expenses (food, rent, etc.).
We recognize that sponsorship at the post-secondary level is a much greater financial commitment as compared to your current pledge, and want to emphasize that continued support is voluntary. If you are unable to increase your sponsorship pledge to cover the full amount needed at the post-secondary level, you are welcome to invite friends and/or family to co-sponsor with you. Each sponsor would have their own pledge and online account with Africa New Life, and the student would know that they have multiple sponsors. Please note that Africa New Life is unable to facilitate finding co-sponsors for your post-secondary student.
Once national exam scores are released and students know their eligibility for post-secondary programs, they may start applying to schools. However, most students wait to apply to universities until they know if they will have a sponsor, and what level of financial support they will receive. Once students start applying to schools, they could apply to just one, but will most likely apply to two or more. Unlike in the U.S., where students typically choose any course of study they would like, when a student is accepted to a university in Rwanda, the university tells them which course(s) (major/degree) they may pursue. The course options given to students are based on multiple factors, including their academic performance in secondary school, national exam scores, and the number of available spots a specific school has for that course. Students will review what different universities have offered them to study and will make their best choice for school and course. Africa New Life staff in Rwanda come alongside students and their families through the entire process of selecting their school and post-secondary program.
Approximately 98% of our post-secondary students study at institutions located in East Africa, with roughly 97% of them studying in Rwanda. Students receive academic counseling from Africa New Life staff in Rwanda to help them select a school and course of study that best fits their interest, skill set and academic strengths.
Where a student lives during their post-secondary program depends on the school they attend and their unique situation. Some students who live close to their schools might be able to continue living at home and commute to school. Students who relocate for school might live on campus, though not all universities in Rwanda have on-campus housing. So, students could choose to live with a relative or rent a place with other post-secondary students. If students need to rent a place to live during their post-secondary program, Africa New Life in Rwanda tries to help connect them with other sponsored students so they can room together and save on rent.
There are multiple intakes during the academic year, so students can begin their university or post-secondary vocational program at different times throughout the year. Students are on a semester or trimester schedule, depending on their school.
All post-secondary students sign a contract when they join the post-secondary program. This contract outlines different requirements sponsored students need to meet in order to remain in the program. The contractual agreements include maintaining certain grades, using their monthly stipends for the intended purposes, being involved in a local church, and participating in community service. Students are advised to connect with the Post-Secondary Coordinator in Rwanda for support if they are struggling academically, physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
Since the scoring system is vastly different in Rwanda, Africa New Life doesn’t provide sponsors with actual grades or transcripts. At least once a year, sponsors will receive a progress report with a letter from their post-secondary student, sharing more information about their experience in school. On the progress report, sponsors will be able to see what classes their sponsored student took last term and whether they passed or failed.
Students who live near Kigali may attend New Life Bible Church on Sundays for a time of fellowship with other post-secondary students. A third service was added at New Life Bible Church to accommodate the growing number of these students.
Many of our post-secondary students near Kigali participate in a program each Saturday called the “House of Wisdom.” Students benefit from hearing guest speakers, panels with church members, and Q&A sessions, all focused on relevant topics on Christianity and discipleship. We also have a partnership with the Equip Maxwell Leadership Institute, which trains young leaders across Africa. Maxwell staff provide Christian-based leadership training twice a year, and students who complete their training are awarded a certificate. Post-secondary students participate in our annual camp, where they enjoy workshops, group discussions, speakers, worship sessions and athletic activities.
For an overview about education in Rwanda, click here.
Contact us at email@example.com or 503.906.1590 with further questions.