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Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Mentors and HER Girls in Ethiopia Give Back

    By: Edie Cecil on Monday, April 28, 2014

    This past September, 100 underserved girls in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—50 from Addis Ketema School and 50 from Fitawrari Abayneh School—were awarded the Higher Education Readiness (HER) Scholarship. The scholarship provides the girls with financial support combined with innovative leadership and life skills training to help them complete their secondary education and equip them with the tools needed to continue on to university.


  • International Women’s Day—Inspiring Change

    By: Trish Tierney on Thursday, March 6, 2014

    Change occurs after people take action, and action occurs when people are inspired. I love to be inspired. Who doesn’t? When I’m inspired, I feel an almost physical response—suddenly my day looks brighter, my life seems more exciting, my dreams more attainable, and those around me appear as potential partners with whom I want to share the thrill, build momentum, and take action. So, I ask myself “How and when am I most inspired?” If I can figure it out, I can share it with more people, and keep the inspiration buzz going and growing.


  • IIE Addis Ababa Office Celebrates a Remarkable Milestone—100 HER Girls Awarded Scholarship

    By: Edie Cecil on Wednesday, January 22, 2014

    The IIE Addis Ababa office held an award ceremony at Fitawrari and Addis Ketema schools to celebrate the final selection of the Higher Education Readiness (HER) recipients. The 100 girls had successfully completed this past spring’s tutoring sessions, attended and did well in the summer enrichment activities including English language training and leadership and life skills development, and scored well enough on the Ethiopian National Exam to proceed directly to the 11th grade academic track. Congratulations to all of the HER recipients!  We are very proud of you and look forward to working with you over the coming two years.


  • HER Participant Results from the Ethiopian National Exam

    By: Edie Cecil on Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    The HER girls recently received their scores for the Ethiopian National Exam. This exam is taken by all 10th grade Ethiopians and their numerical score determines whether they move forward to the 11th grade in high school, move to a vocational school or stop going to school and enter the workplace. The exam is comprehensive and Ethiopian students do as much as they can to prepare themselves, such as undertake extra tutoring. For students in IIE’s Higher Education Readiness (HER) Program, IIE held after school tutoring programs and tried to prep the girls on exam taking.


  • The Perks of Parent Involvement in IIE’s HER Program

    By: Edie Cecil on Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    The IIE Higher Education Readiness (HER) scholarship recipients have been busy these past two months studying for the National Exam, which was held a few weeks ago. The grades for the Exam will not be released until late summer, but we are hopeful that all of the HER students will do well and will enter the 11th grade as a university track student.


  • HER Launch Event in NYC

    By: Edie Cecil on Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    On Tuesday, May 7, IIE hosted the official launch event of our Higher Education Readiness (HER) Program at our New York headquarters. The launch was part of a larger event, sponsored by IIE’s Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives, to promote its newest publication, “Women in the Global Economy: Leading Social Change,” and host a panel discussion with book contributors.


  • 10th Grade National Exam tutoring has begun for Higher Education Readiness students!

    By: Edie Cecil on Wednesday, May 1, 2013

    The 10th grade national exam is a key milestone for students entering the 11th grade in high school across Ethiopia. The score on the exam determines whether students enter into a vocational or university track for 11th and 12th grades.


  • Meet Select Recipients from IIE’s Higher Education Readiness Program

    By: Edie Cecil on Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    IIE is pleased to announce that we have notified 100 girls who have been selected for the HER scholarship! Recently, we gathered 50 students from both Addis Ketema and Fitawrari Abayneh at their schools and gave them the good news.


  • First Higher Education Readiness Program Cohort Selected in Ethiopia

    By: Edie Cecil on Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    IIE is excited to have selected the first group of one hundred HER scholarship recipients! The Institute held selection panels for our new Higher Education Readiness (HER) program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 25th. Discussion was robust, objective and transparent. Nineteen Ethiopian professionals from secondary schools, universities, NGO's and businesses gathered to discuss the HER applicants and, based on the scholarship criteria (academic performance, demonstrated leadership and future skills and financial need) determined which girls will be awarded the HER scholarship.


  • Walking the Walk on Youth Leadership Development

    By: Cheryl Francisconi on Friday, October 26, 2012

    Recently, I attended a dinner where the keynote speaker gave a speech on youth leadership. This topic is of great interest to me because a significant portion of IIE’s work in sub-Saharan Africa focuses on leadership development, particularly for women and youth. The speaker talked about the importance of making space for young people. Afterward, my dinner companion remarked, “There is so much talk about leadership these days, but I’d really like to know what people are actually doing to make space for young people.” His comments resonated with me.


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For more than nine decades, the Institute of International Education has been at the forefront of international education. The Opening Minds blog is IIE’s take on how this field continues to change. Here the Institute’s leaders will explore international educational exchange, global student mobility, institutional partnerships, international development, and other topics and trends that are shaping higher education around the world.

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