Charter of Principles for Good Scholarship Programme
Scholarship programmes help change the world! Thanks to them, young people can make the most of their own talents and make life decisions following their skills and dreams. Good scholarship programmes contribute to the development of local communities and become a lasting foundation of social and human capital. They are a source of pride for their organisers, scholars, founders and entire communities!
A good scholarship programme is also a well thought investment. In order for the investment to be reliably prepared, but also in order to restore the proper meaning to the word ‘scholarship’, a Charter of Principles for Good Scholarship Programme was created. The Charter is a result of the joint work of the community of institutions involved in the development of scholarship programmes centred around the ‘Scholarships in Polish education’ conference.
The Charter of Principles for Good Scholarship Programme is a proposal for the voluntary adoption of standards whose observance will contribute to the modernisation of the scholarship system in Poland. Depending on the scope and stage of development of the scholarship programme, there may be those that meet the following principles and those that – with the introduction of new solutions – could meet the standards of the Charter in the future. There may also be scholarship programmes whose organisers will develop the Charter with additional issues developed by them, specific to these programmes. The Charter is also addressed to institutions interested in launching a scholarship programme.
This proposed Charter is our contribution to the debate on the principles for implementation of scholarship programmes.
1. GOOD SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMMES RESPOND TO SPECIFIC NEEDS
They are created based on sound identification of the needs of the groups and communities they are intended to serve. The identification includes knowledge of a specific territory, community or group in terms of social needs, problems and areas with development potential. Basing a scholarship strategy on insightful analysis contributes to its effectiveness and more efficient spending of money. Good programmes have a clear objective. If the programmes arose from a spontaneous desire to help that was not preceded by such analysis, it is worth developing and changing them to suit the needs of future scholars.
2. GOOD SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMMES ARE TRANSPARENT
Written and public regulations clearly define the principles for evaluating applications, awarding scholarships and the work of committees evaluating applications, and include provisions that exclude conflicts of interest. This is a basis for the functioning of any scholarship programme and a guarantee of credibility.
3. GOOD SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMMES ARE FINANCIALLY STABLE
The objective of scholarship programme organisers should be to strive for financial stability, which will enable them to freely implement the stated mission and goals of the programme. The measure to do this is to draw from as many financial sources as possible or to create a sustainable fund, such as by raising an endowment fund.
4. GOOD SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMMES BUILD A STRONG ALUMNI SOCIETY
Alumni of scholarship programmes are their best ambassadors, as they bear witness to their effectiveness before the public, future scholars and potential founders. In the future, they can become programme partners by supporting it as volunteers or by joining as founders.
5. GOOD SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMMES ARE BUILT TOGETHER
Created in collaboration with a coalition of partners, they increase the credibility of scholarship initiatives and help promote them. For individual donors, this is a chance to involve independent experts in their works. Acquiring many participants in social life not only makes it easier to reach out to young people in need of support, but also helps attract new founders and allies.
6. GOOD SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMMES ARE CYCLICALLY EVALUATED
Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of programmes is impossible without a periodic summary of their activity, verification of their functioning and impact on the life paths of the scholars. Only such systematic evaluation makes it possible to properly design a scholarship offer and adapt it to the changing needs of young people and employers.
7. GOOD SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMMES USE MODERN TECHNOLOGIES
The use of modern technologies should be tailored to the target group of the scholarship programme. However, the Internet is today the cheapest and most accessible form of reaching a wide range of potential scholars and possible founders. The promotion of the scholarship programme through the Internet is a response to the growing expectations of young people, who are increasingly basing their communication on new media. A good programme uses modern technology in communication, the recruitment process and the evaluation of applications, which improves the programme management and makes it more transparent.
8. GOOD SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMMES ARE RECOGNISABLE
Scholarship programmes shape their image through proper communication. The capital of the scholarship programmes are the stories of their scholars; they are the ones that capture the public imagination the most. Programmes can also create monuments of some sort, commemorating the lives and achievements of scholarship programme patrons or promoting important ideas.
9. GOOD SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMMES…
Any institution that adopts the above universal principles can supplement this charter with the standards it follows, which significantly affect the high quality and development of the scholarship programme it runs.
The text was professionally translated from: https://www.mojestypendium.pl/artykuly-dla-organizatorow/karta-zasad-dobrego-programu-stypendialnego/
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