Candidate Overview: What do we look for in a Malengo Scholar?
- What are the eligibility requirements for Malengo?
You are eligible for the program if you fulfill the following set of criteria:
- Basic Eligibility
- You have completed the UCE exam
- You have either already completed the UACE and have at least two principal passes; OR you plan to complete the UACE exam in 2023 and already have your mock UACE results
- Your UACE must be issued in one of the eligible districts, which are listed here. Your place of residence in Uganda does not matter; it matters only where your UACE was/will be obtained.
- You are 30 years of age or below as of December 31, 2023
- You have not yet completed a Bachelor’s program
- Academic Eligibility (based on requirements of German university)
- 2 subjects at the Principal Level of the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) with a grade of E or better, and
- 3 subjects in the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) with a grade of 6 or better, and
- These 5 subjects are general knowledge courses and independent from each other, including Math and English.
- Additional requirements
- You have a Ugandan passport; OR a Ugandan national ID; OR a letter from NIRA showing your NIN number; OR be a refugee living in Uganda and hold a valid refugee travel document. You do not need all documents at the time of application; ONE is sufficient.
- You read, write, and speak good English.
- You come from a background of limited means. We will check this during the application process. If you’re unsure if you qualify, we recommend applying regardless.
- You are motivated to work hard to succeed at a German university and integrate yourself into your community there.
- Basic Eligibility
- Are refugees in Uganda eligible for the program?
Yes. If you are a refugee in Uganda and have a valid refugee travel document, you are eligible to apply for the program. The eligibility criteria and our selection process is the same as for Ugandan citizens, see above.
- Does it matter where I live?
No; your place of residence does not matter. It only matters where you got or will get your UACE certificate.
- Do I need a passport?
No, but if you don’t have a passport, you need a Ugandan national ID card, OR a letter from NIRA showing your NIN number, OR a valid refugee travel document.
- Do I need to speak German to be a Malengo Scholar?
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 German classes. German classes are typically offered for free by the universities.
- What experiences and character traits do I need to have to be selected?
A Malengo Scholar is not just a student who receives financial and mentoring support from our organization. A Malengo Scholar is someone who embodies respect, integrity, honesty and persistence in all aspects of their life. We look for six important traits in our applicants:
- You are academically qualified, which includes good grades and UCE/UACE scores.
- You are financially deserving, which means that you would not otherwise be able to afford studying at a German university.
- You possess personal and academic integrity and honesty. You tell the truth, produce original work, and are known for being reliable and responsive.
- You have persistence and a strong work ethic. You can overcome challenges in your life and will work hard to achieve your goals.
- You are a strong contributor to your community. You have demonstrated leadership and service to others, and will contribute to the Malengo scholar community in the future.
- You are motivated to become a Malengo Scholar. You have strong conviction and ambition to join this special community and pursue an academic program in Europe. You can articulate how this experience will help you achieve your goals.
- What subjects can I study?
Our eligible Bachelors programs are listed here. We do not support studies for other degree programs.
- Do I have better chances if I select a specific program of study?
No. We treat all eligible Bachelors 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 degree programs that you are qualified for and passionate about.
Please note: Malengo does not guarantee admission into your choice of program. Admissions into German universities are based on the decisions made by the universities on the basis of your application, subjects, and grades.
- I am older than 30 years. Can I still apply?
No, unfortunately you are not eligible to apply to Malengo.
- I applied previously and was not successful. Can I still apply?
Yes! As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you are welcome to apply again.
- I am still waiting for my UACE results. Can I apply?
Yes! Candidates who have good UCE scores and are sitting for their UACE exams in the year of application can apply as long as they have their mock exam results. Candidates who are selected by Malengo before UACE results are released are admitted contingent upon receiving good UACE scores.
Application Process: How and when do I apply to be a Malengo Scholar?
- What are the deadlines to apply to be a Malengo Scholar?
For the 2023 round of applications, the deadlines are as follows:
- If you completed your UACE before 2023: November 30, 2023
- If you expect to complete your UACE in 2023: December 15, 2023
- Where do I apply to be a Malengo Scholar?
You can apply at https://app.malengo.org. You can begin your application and save it and come back to it at any time. Please be sure to follow the specific directions in the application for the word counts and prompts.
- How do I activate the account?
You must first register on the application portal with a username, your email address, and a password. Make sure to key in the correct email and to remember your password as you will need it to log in later! You will then receive an email with a verification code to activate your Malengo account. You must enter the verification code on the portal in order to activate that account. You will then be redirected to the Malengo homepage. You can always save your progress and return to the form later using the email and password you used at the time of registration. Now you can start your application!
- How does the application form work?
- The application has 7 different forms that need to be completed before submission. Your application will not be reviewed if all forms are not submitted.
- At first, you only have access to the Eligibility Form. We will determine whether you meet the basic eligibility requirements for the Malengo program (listed in the first section) before you can access the remaining forms.
- If you are ineligible, you will not be able to proceed any further. You will still have the chance to edit your response but we request you to not enter incorrect information as it will be verified later.
- If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be asked to submit your UCE and UACE subjects and grades. We will then determine whether your subject combinations meet the requirement for German universities (listed in the first section).
- If you do not meet the requirements, you will not be able to proceed any further.
- If you also meet the academic requirements, you will have access to all the remaining forms
- What are the identification/ID requirements?
You must have AT LEAST ONE of the following documents to apply:
- A Ugandan national ID
- A letter from NIRA showing your NIN number (an example is shown in the picture below; note that the NIN number must be shown on the document).
- A valid refugee travel document.
Unfortunately we cannot accept any other documents as identification.
- What information will I need to provide to apply to Malengo?
The application portal will take you through a series of questions and documents to upload. You will be asked to:
- Prove your basic eligibility for the Malengo program (refer to Section 1 to see eligibility requirements)
- Determine that your subject combinations from your UCE and UACE meet the requirements to study in Germany. If you meet these requirements, you will be asked to fill
- personal details that include how to reach you and your background;
- information about your income and assets to determine financial eligibility. Be honest in answering this since it will be verified
- Essay questions about what we look for in a Malengo Scholar; and
- Name and contact details of a reference
- What are you looking for in the essays, and how do I submit those?
We ask for two short written essays to help us get to know you. The essays focus on your persistence and work ethic, and your motivation to be a Malengo scholar. Please take care to stay within the 400-word limit, to answer the questions directly, and to proofread your answers to make sure they have no errors.
In line with our value of personal and academic integrity and honesty, please be sure that you alone are the originator of these essays. If we find that you have copied, plagiarized, or had someone else write these responses, you will be automatically disqualified from the program.
- How do I know my application has been submitted?
You will get a confirmation email to the email address that you provided during your application. This email will state that you have successfully submitted your application. Kindly check your Spam folder in case you don’t see the email in your Inbox.
Selection Process: What can I expect once I submit my application?
- What happens after I submit my application?
We will review applications as soon as we receive them, so applying early gives you the best chance of admission. Some candidates will be interviewed. If you are chosen for an interview, you will receive specific instructions on what to expect. It is important that you respond immediately to interview scheduling requests. Please make sure to check your emails regularly (at least once per day) and look into the spam folder to make sure that you don’t miss it.
- When will I hear whether I am selected for the program?
We anticipate sending out official offer letters to admitted students in March of each year.
Financial Assistance: How much do I need to pay for this program, what funding will I get and do I need to pay it back?
- How much does it cost to apply to Malengo?
Nothing! Applying to Malengo is entirely free. MALENGO DOES NOT ASK FOR MONEY FROM STUDENTS, REFERENCE PROVIDERS, OR ANYONE ELSE DURING THE APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS. If someone asks you for money to “process” your Malengo application, it’s a scam. Please do not make any payments, and report it to us at [email protected].
- How much funding do I get and what does it pay for if I’m accepted to Malengo?
Malengo will pay for your university and visa application fees, the IELTS test, flights, semester fees in the first semester, and your first-year living expenses. Malengo does not provide funding beyond the first year of studies. We expect Malengo Scholars to get part-time jobs during their first year that can cover living and other expenses after the first year. The funding is provided on the basis of an income share agreement (ISA). 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 part-time jobs to support themselves. We will help you find such a job. We also run a mentorship program, which pairs you with someone who has experience within Germany who can support you with both short- and longer-term career development.
- What is an income share agreement?
An income share agreement means that you receive funding 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”) back to Malengo so we can continue our work.
- 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 if you have a sufficiently high income. If you don’t have a high enough income for whatever reason — for example, if you pursue further studies, or move back to Uganda and take a job with a salary below the threshold — you are not expected to make contributions.
- What are the conditions of the income share agreement for Malengo Scholars?
If your application is successful, you will receive an offer that includes an income share agreement. The specific conditions for the 2024 cohort have not been determined. For the 2023 cohort, the conditions stipulated that students make financial contributions if they have a job with a salary above EUR 27,000 per year. This threshold is the same regardless of where in the world they live. How much they contribute depends on where they live: If they live in Germany or another high- or upper-middle income country, and their yearly income exceeds EUR 27,000, they contribute 14% of their pre-tax income for a period of up to 10 years (but never more than a maximum lifetime repayment of EUR 56,220). If they return to live in Uganda or another low- or lower-middle income country, and their yearly income exceeds EUR 27,000, they contribute 7% of their pre-tax income for a period of up to 5 years (and again never more than the lifetime maximum). All of these amounts are adjusted for inflation on an ongoing basis.
The specific conditions for the 2024 cohort will be communicated to successful candidates in their offers.
- What if I don’t have an income after I graduate?
The income share agreement means that you only make contributions back to Malengo if you have a sufficiently high income. In the 2023 cohort, students only make contributions once they earn more than EUR 27,000 per year. If they do not have an income, or have a lower income, they do not make any contributions. The threshold for 2024 will be communicated to successful applicants with their offer.
Support for Malengo Scholars: What other support will I receive if I’m chosen to be a Malengo Scholar?
- What non-financial support will I receive if I am accepted into the program to get accepted to university and prepare for going to Germany?
Once accepted, we will help the whole Malengo cohort choose suitable Bachelor’s programs at German universities and apply for them. We will help you prepare for the IELTS English test, gather all necessary documentation for your applications, including getting a passport if you don’t have one. Once you have been admitted, we will help you obtain a student visa at the German Embassy in Kampala. After you have received your visa, we will help you register for health insurance in Germany, look for housing in Germany, and set up travel to get there. You will participate in a pre-departure workshop in Kampala and will receive training and onboarding about what to expect and do once you get to Germany. You will travel to Germany to commence your studies in September 2024.
- What support will I receive as a Malengo Scholar when I am in Germany?
Before you leave for Germany, you will be matched with a mentor through Malengo’s mentorship program. The mentor will be your support person throughout your first year in Germany, and help you with any questions and issues, such as how to open a bank account, where to go shopping, how to find friends, how to prepare for exams, and many more things. Other Malengo staff are also available to help you with any questions if necessary.
- What if I want to change my Bachelors program while I am in Germany?
Changing your Bachelors program while in Germany is possible. We will work with you to make it happen if you decide to take this step. Regardless of your change in program, you will still receive funding from Malengo until the end of your first year in Germany.
- 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 funding for studies in other countries than Germany?
No, but we are planning on expanding to other countries in the future.
- Do you provide funding for programs other than Bachelor’s programs?