Frequently Asked Questions: Uganda–Germany Program
Do I need to speak German to apply? No. All programs in the Malengo program are taught entirely in English. You therefore do not need to know any German to become a Malengo Scholar. However, once you begin your studies, we require that you take a German class. These are offered for free by the universities.
Do I have better chances if I select a specific program of study? No. We treat all eligible Bachelor’s programs equally. During the application we will ask you about your motivation for the particular programs you want to study. For this reason you should select programs that you are qualified for and passionate about.
What are recommendation/guarantor letters and how many should I obtain? There is no minimum, nor a maximum number of letters that you need to submit. Recommendation letters: These are letters by people who know you, have lived with you, taught you, worked with you, etc. They should describe your personality and why your recommenders believe you would be a good choice for this program. Guarantor letters: Guarantor letters can include a similar paragraph about why guarantors believe you would be successful in the program, but more importantly include a line in which guarantors agree to step in with a certain amount of money in case you default on your responsibilities of the program. The amount can be chosen by your guarantor but needs to be specified. To clarify, this amount of money does not have to be paid, but only “promised” in the case that, for example, in years after the program you earn good money and are meant to repay part of it but do not follow that requirement. Please submit all letters of the same type in one file.
What happens after I apply and if I get accepted? After we close the application portal, we will take some time to look through all applications. We will then invite a selection of applicants to an interview with our team. After these interviews we will send out official offer letters to admitted students and hope that these accept the offer. Once accepted, we help the new cohort of scholars to prepare for the TOEFL English test, support in collecting all necessary documentation to apply to the chosen Bachelor programs (i.e. getting a passport), and provide guidance for the actual application process via uni-assist (i.e. reviewing CVs and motivation letters). While we wait for the universities to respond, we support in setting up a blocked bank account, health insurance, and other documents needed for your visa appointment at the German embassy in Kampala. In a next step you start preparing for your departure by looking for housing and getting your affairs sorted. In a Pre-Departure workshop in Kampala we make sure you feel prepared and ready. Once arrived, we make sure to be updated about your progress in regular calls, and are available for any concerns.
How much money do I get? You will receive EUR 12,000 to pay for your application and visa fees, the TOEFL test, flights, semester fees, and your first-year living expenses. This should be enough to cover you for the first year. We imagine that you will even be able to save some money for subsequent years. The money is provided on the basis of an income share agreement. You can find out more about what this is below.
How do I pay for my expenses after the first year? Most students in Germany have side jobs to support themselves. We will help you find such a job. We also run a mentorship program, which pairs you with someone in Germany who can support you with both short- and longer-term career development. Malengo does not provide funding beyond the first year of studies.
What is an income share agreement? An income share agreement means that you get money from Malengo to pay for your application fees, and living expenses in the first year. After you graduate, if you have a job with a sufficiently high salary, you contribute a share of your income (hence “income share”) to the next generation of Malengo Scholars.
What are the conditions of the income share agreement? The income share agreement we offer stipulates that you make financial contributions if you have a job with a salary above EUR 22,000 per year. This threshold is the same regardless of where in the world you live. How much you contribute depends on where you live: If you live in Germany or another high- or middle-income country, and your yearly income exceeds EUR 22,000, you contribute 20% of your pre-tax income to future Malengo Scholars for a period of 10 years. If you live in Uganda or another low-income country, and your yearly income exceeds EUR 22,000, you contribute 10% of your pre-tax income for a period of 5 years. Regardless of how high your income is, you never contribute more than 4 times EUR 12,000.
Is Malengo a loan? No. A loan has to be re-paid no matter whether or not you earn an income. In contrast, with Malengo’s income share agreements, you only make financial contributions to future scholars if you have a job and a sufficiently high income. If you don’t have a high enough income for whatever reason – for example, if you are engaged in further studies, or move back to Uganda and take a public sector job with a salary below the threshold – you are not expected to make contributions.
What if I don’t have an income after I graduate? The income share agreement means that you only make contributions to future Malengo Scholars if you have a job and a sufficiently high income. Currently you only make contributions if you earn more than EUR 22,000 per year. If you do not have an income, or have a lower income, you do not make any contributions.
Do I have to return to Uganda after I finish my degree? Malengo does not have rules or expectations about what you do after you finish your degree. We will support you as best we can in whatever you decide to do. This might include continuing to further studies; finding a job in Germany; returning to Uganda; or moving to a third country.
I applied last year and was not successful. Can I apply again this year? Yes! As long as you still fulfill the eligibility criteria.
Do you provide scholarships for students from other countries than Uganda? You must hold a Ugandan UACE from one of the districts on this list to be eligible. You do not have to be a Ugandan citizen.
Do you provide scholarships for studies in other countries than Germany? No.
Do you provide scholarships for programs other than Bachelor’s programs? No.
I obtained my UACE in 2015 or earlier. Can I still apply? No.
I am still waiting for my UACE results. Can I apply? You must provide your UACE certificate by the application deadline. We cannot accept certificates that are submitted after the application deadline.
Where can I find a scholarship for studying for degree X in country Y? We’re sorry that we don’t have a good overview of what other scholarships exist. For studies in Germany, we recommend the website of the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD.