Launched in 2013 with support from the Ford Foundation, the IFP Alumni Tracking Study explores the personal pathways and career trajectories of alumni of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP).
The study is unprecedented in its size and scope and will provide useful lessons for IIE and the field at large on how to carry out impact studies over an extended period of time, as well as how to design fellowships for maximum impact. By studying the link between higher education and social justice, and the effect that higher education can have on marginalized populations and leadership, we are better able to understand the long-term impact of international higher education scholarship programs that seek to promote social change.
What is the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program?
Between 2001 and 2013, the International Fellowships Program supported graduate-level education for 4,305 emerging social justice leaders from 22 countries in the developing world. The Ford Foundation provided $420 million in funding resources for IFP, the single largest program commitment in its history.
Geared toward emerging grassroots leaders and social innovators, IFP was based on an inclusive higher education model that prioritized social commitment over traditional selection criteria. Its underlying assumption was that, given the right tools, socially committed individuals from disadvantaged communities could succeed in postgraduate studies and would advance social change upon returning home. IFP alumni represent a wide range of groups traditionally excluded from higher education based on their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, economic and educational background, or physical disability, among others factors.