KHT has provided scholarships for Karen students to access higher education for over a decade. Our scholarships remove a financial barrier to education that many Karen from remote and marginalised families face when wanting to go to university or access vocational diplomas. Some of our own KHT staff are previous sponsored scholars and we have seen the value of this project first hand.
How does KHT ensure our Scholarships Project is working well?
Every year KHT sends out surveys to all current scholarship students and any students we supported in the last 5 years. This surveys aims to gauge what struggles they faced in accessing higher education and how our support has helped.
Our team then collate and translate the surveys and this year we also had a meet-up with current students to get more insight into their lives and to congratulate and encourage them on their hard work.
We have summarised some of the key findings for you below to for transparency and as a way to show the impact of the project, as well as what we can be doing better.
How does KHT’s Scholarships Project operate?
We currently have 30 scholarship students and some of are university students and others are studying vocational courses at technical colleges or schools.
KHT works with schools to advertise our scholarship as an opportunity and students will complete an application form and then be chosen based on their needs and available funding for their chosen course.
KHT provides a monthly bursary that is used for fees and also some living costs. Many students find that this means they can apply to the courses they want, may not need to take loans or work additional jobs and can afford to learn without added financial stress. We also remove the burden from their families who can then rely less on their children for financial support or childcare etc.
How does KHT monitor and evaluate the project?
The questions on the survey help us assess different facets of being a scholarship student, such as grades, financial situation, what else we could potentially support them with, whether their subject of study is or was relevant to their current or future job roles and more. This gives us an overall understanding of how well we support our students and what else we could be doing. This is particularly important with the price of everything going up in Thailand so our students need us now more than ever.
What do the results of the 2023 survey tell us?
Our survey has let us know that KHT’s support has helped with bills, tuition fees, rent, daily expenses such as food, exams and school supplies. This is overall what we would hope to see the money is being spent on.
We also saw that 31% of student have a part time jobs whilst studying and 19 out of 30 still needed help (between 300-4000 baht- £7- £93) per month through work or support from family, friends to fully afford the cost of studying. Overall, 93% of current students saying they worried about money highlights that Karen students face a major disadvantage and they lack financial safety nets should unexpected costs arise.
We are proud to say 96% of of our scholars have more than a 2.0 grade average or above and 16% have a 4.0 grade average. This shows that despite the difficulties, they are keen to do well and work hard.
When asked about plans after studying, we found that 8 would like to be teachers, 4 would like to open or work in a garage and four of our students wanted to become accountants. 100% of current students have also said they would like to work in a relevant field to that they are studying.
We are happy to report that 62.5% of past students are currently working in a relevant field to what they studied. The majority of past students noted that without their vocational or university course they would not be able to work in their current job role. This highlights the importance of higher education qualifications in the labour market and that is opens up opportunities for Karen youth.
Something we also check with current and past students is whether they would also like their child to be educated to a similar level, they all replied in the positive to this. Educated parents will most likely also support and enable their children to higher education and this change will positively impact the Karen community for multiple generations.
In addition to the surveys, we keep in regular contact with our scholarships students and we are pleased to see them achieving their goals and proud to be able to help them do that. You can help us reach more young Karen people by donating today!