On August 10th, the first KAEF educational grant competition concluded successfully, and we are excited to share the news. Ten exceptional first-year students for the 2023-2024 academic year have been granted the opportunity to pursue their bachelor's degrees with financial support from the KIMEP Alumni Endowment Fund (KAEF). With this financial aid, they can focus entirely on their studies without worrying about finding resources for their living expenses.
Fellows KIMEP 2023
The idea of establishing endowment funds for graduates in Kazakhstan universities came to life in autumn 2022. In September of the same year, the KIMEP Alumni took the initiative to create the KIMEP Endowment Fund. Their ambitious goal was to help ten first-year students from working-class and middle-class families obtain an education at what is affectionately called the "Kazakhstan Harvard" by KIMEP alumni. The KAEF educational grant competition marks the realization of this vision.
In July 2023, KAEF received a total of 109 grant applications, out of which six arrived after the deadline and were consequently desk-rejected. The Admissions Committee carefully reviewed the portfolios of 103 applicants, including their videos and motivational letters. The 24 applications that received an excellent rating were forwarded to the KAEF Board of Trustees for further consideration.
Due to the tight schedule and a large number of applications, the Board members devoted their entire weekend to read and discuss the candidates' portfolios. On Monday, August 7th, the second round of the competition took place, during which the finalists from the first round underwent interviews with the KAEF Board of Trustees. The purpose of these interviews was to personally get to know the candidates and assess their life experiences. It is worth noting that all stages of the selection process were challenging for the committee because the quality of applications received was exceptionally high. Adjustments were made to ensure a fair assessment among the top contenders.
The personal interviews added depth to the decision-making process, revealing additional information about the candidates that couldn't be gleaned from their documents and scripted videos. For example, it became evident that some applicants' financial needs were not as straightforward as initially assumed. Some candidates were unsure why they deserved to be recipients of the KAEF educational grants. Simultaneously, it was discovered that certain candidates were already well-prepared to engage with KAEF in legal matters. These insights underscore the purpose behind the KAEF grants, reflecting the extent of self-preparation expected from grant recipients.
In conclusion, the KAEF educational grant competition proved to be a challenging yet fulfilling process, and the caliber of applicants showcased the excellence that KIMEP strives to foster through these grants.