Many less-developed nations, such as India and South Korea, have an abundance of PhDs. Other nations have few people with advanced degrees. And often, in both cases, the degrees are in specialities of little or no use to society.
To help educate more leaders with high levels of knowledge and analytical skills in practical fields, the Ford Foundation plans to spend $280 million to support graduate-level education around the world.
Grant winners must study such useful topics as education reform, media, human rights, youth, and families. The first 100 fellows will come from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Chile, Peru, Russia, and Vietnam. The second round will add another 10 to 12 nations, including China, Indonesia, and South Africa.
The grants will favor women, rural folk, and the economically or physically disadvantaged. Applicants must demonstrate that they will work in their countries after the schooling. This should help prevent brain drain.
Ford's goal of reaching some 3,500 individuals over the next 10 years is ambitious. But the results will help create leaders who can help their nations grow effectively in a global economy.
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