We operate a rigorously fair system for awarding university scholarships on merit, with an exam that is blind-marked. This is important in a country where state scholarships (as well as jobs) are often given only to relatives, friends and supporters of the ruling political party, ensuring that that party remains in power indefinitely. The amount of the SMEF scholarship depends on the economic situation of the family, but most of our students need to be on full support (fees, study materials, fares and/or rent). In this way many bright students are receiving higher education when no one in their family has previously had such an opportunity, enabling a new generation of leadership to emerge from the base.
The great majority of our students are studying in Paraguay’s top two universities – the Universidad Nacional and the Universidad Católica. In 2014 we have 35 students on university scholarships, studying the following range of subjects: Accountancy, Agro-Industrial Engineeering, Biochemistry, Business Administration, English, Industrial Engineering, International Commerce, IT, Law, Marketing, Nursing, Nutrition, Psychology and Social Work.
We also give scholarships to agricultural school, which is secondary-level education.