Education has long been recognized as a driver of multiple development benefits including reduced poverty, improved health, increased gender equality, and greater peace and stability. Tertiary education, including higher education and vocational training, in particular, delivers societal as well as individual benefits, such as inclusive growth, increased employment, higher tax revenues and greater resilience to economic shocks. As access to primary and secondary education increases, and youth populations expand, low- and lower-middle-income countries face intensified demand for high-quality, cost-effective tertiary education that meets labour market needs and boosts employment of young people.
Access to tertiary education, however, remains largely out of reach for low-income students in low- and lower-middle-income countries. Government funding and scholarships are limited, and private financing options are scarce.
UBS Optimus Foundation is therefore working with Convergence to launch this prize to identify successful student financing solutions that can help more young people enter tertiary education, and thereby drive improved education outcomes as well as increased youth employment.
This initiative will identify, evaluate, and select the best student financing solutions, and award up to four prizes of at least USD 250,000 each through a competitive call for applications.
Applications are now open for the Tertiary Education Financing prize and will be accepted on a rolling basis until October 24, 2022.