Education is the key word for all the members in the KABS Foundation.
The KABS Foundation is currently comprised of 6 academic members: University Utrecht, Hogeschool Utrecht, ESMT/Berlin, HHL Leipzig, BSL Lausanne and Koc University/Istanbul. The Foundation is based in The Hague, NL, and has the full backing of the (parent) Kofi Annan Foundation based in Geneva. There is a regular contact with the KAF and Mr. Annan for an up-date on our work and progress.
The idea behind the Foundation is to facilitate access to Masters and MBA education at leading business schools for those from Least Developed Countries. The aim is to provide opportunity for talented and motivated individuals from these countries, who do not belong to a privileged class and lack sufficient financial means to graduate with a degree from an international business school. Upon return to their home countries (a condition of the Fellowship), the Fellows are expected to contribute to the strengthening of entrepreneurial capacity and the fostering of a stable market economy as an effective catalyst for their country's development, job creation and poverty alleviation. If you look at the jobs they enrol, we can be proud of them, most of them really do make a difference.
The commitment required from schools is as follows: 1) Long term commitment to either fund or raise funds for minimal 2 Kofi Annan Fellows per year (tuition fees, traveling and living expenses) at their school. To start with one fellow in the first year is okay, naturally. The schools mostly raise partial funding for living costs and travel expenses for the fellows from individual donors or companies, with the remainder being given as tuition fee remission (waiving the tuition fee is mostly possible for private business schools).
The Fellows can be either undergraduate coming in for a Master or post-graduate going for an MBA, and can be either for a year or two at the most. The program is flexible and can be tailored to suit the individual school members. Each school is entirely responsible for the people they admit. There is no central function of control in this regard. Most Master or MBA programs concern Management, Development of Financial topics.
2) Attendance at 1 Board meeting per year in Autumn to share experiences, learn from each other, approval of finances and think about our future strategy. The Foundation is headquartered in The Hague, NL. There is no permanent staff, only a part-time secretary, to keep our costs as low as possible. Our chair, Professor Van Ginkel, is working entirely voluntarily. He is a good friend of Mr. Kofi Annan since he worked with him as the Dean of the University of United Nations in Tokyo for ten years.
3) Attendance of one fellow at the Autumn meeting as well. The school pays for the expenses of the fellow. The fellow attends a parallel meeting in which they have to work out wuestuions and assigments of the board.
Membership of the foundation can contribute significantly to a school's social responsibility agenda, as well as having significant PR benefits. The school is allowed to use pictures from Mr. Annan a.s. for promotion activities and fund raising for their KABS program. It is also a way to stand out from other business schools, being able to provide a KABS program.
If your bussines school or university is interested in joining the Foundation, mostly the next step after letting us know, is that we would arrange a visit to the school by (one of) the Membership Committee. The agenda of the visit meeting would simply be to gather more information about the extent of activities, potential areas for scholars, to prepare a plan for the initial participation in KABS and to go through any questions a school can have.
The aim would be to officially join at the Board meeting in October. But if a school wants to admit a fellow before that (most common entrance dates are February or September) a letter of Intent can be signed earlier if things work out faster.
If you want to have a broader picture of our fellows - and livelier and far more appealing than all these words here, do check the testimonials on our website and/or click on the First Years Report. It is so wonderful to see all these students that were educated by the schools and now working in their own countries. Also, to see a lively picture of day to day experiences, see the documentary of Deutsche Welle.