The Origin of Knowledge Is Free Scholarship Programme
One day, all students in Malaysia will have the same opportunity to attain quality tertiary education. One vision, one goal, and one idea. This is the origin of the Knowledge Is Free Scholarship Programme.
The idea of the Knowledge Is Free Scholarship Programme emerged from a random discussion between the two co-founders of this programme, Soon Kiat and I. I still vividly remember our conversation about the accessibility of tertiary education for rural-area students like us; both being scholarship recipients ourselves, we were captivated by the concept of contributing a small part of our scholarship allowance to create a scholarship fund to finance underprivileged students to pursue their tertiary education dreams. We were envisioning our scholars all gathering together 20 years later. In that particular moment, we knew we had to pursue this idea; making it a reality.
Humbly starting as a non-profit social project known as Knowledge Is Free Foundation in August 2017, we did almost everything by ourselves; from building the website and searching for content to recruiting new contributors, we ensured everything was done satisfactorily. I can still remember the first time we shared out a survey to our friends to gauge their interest in becoming contributors. I can still recall the victorious moment when we had our first contributor, then ten, twenty, and more. We were blessed with more than 40 generous contributors who believed in our vision in contributing back to Malaysia education.
A year later, we launched the inaugural application cycle of the Knowledge Is Free Scholarship Programme, worrying if we would be able to reach out to underprivileged students who usually don’t have internet access. Scholarship websites, university student groups, teachers network, etc., we tried every possible way to share about the scholarship programme as long as there was a chance it would help in reaching out to those students. I would never be able to forget the joyful moment when we received our first application for the scholarship. Our first Knowledge Is Free Scholarship Programme application cycle ended with over 80 applicants submitting their application for the scholarship. Among all the outstanding applicants, we selected three talented students as our first ever Knowledge Is Free Scholarship recipients.
A lot of people questioned us about the reasons for initiating the Knowledge Is Free Scholarship Programme. Being students ourselves, we fully understand how paramount financial assistance is for pursuing tertiary education. We truly believe that everyone’s small effort is collectively powerful to create a sustainable impact to the community. Therefore, with every contributor donating RM 45 monthly, we are able to make a significant impact to the students’ lives and beyond.
We are aware that we are not able to provide every student financial assistance to pursue their tertiary education dreams as much as we’d love to. Therefore, we took up the challenge and strive beyond that with the initiation of ProjectEd, a student-led social enterprise which empowers underprivileged students to pursue their tertiary education dreams through free digital mentorships, scholarship opportunities, zero-fee educational crowdfunding, and educational workshops. We aspire to inspire more individuals to join our movements in tackling education inequality in Malaysia. Together, we empower the students, we empower the nation.
The application cycle of Knowledge Is Free Scholarship Programme for 2019 is open, and we’re ready to be impressed! We can’t wait to know more about your story in pursuing your tertiary education dreams. Keep your eyes on our website and social media for more details!
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Knowledge is Free Scholarship Programme is made possible thanks to the collective donations of our contributors. Find out how you can donate to the cause on our donation page