Jan. 17, 2008

Big Brother is teaching you

In an interesting spin-off of the hugely popular Big Brother TV programme format, young Ghanaian undergraduates are being given the opportunity to win UK postgraduate scholarships.

The Challenge 2007 is an educational reality TV show co-produced with the British Council Ghana that is currently being aired on Ghanaian TV channel TV3 as part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence.

Each week, under the gaze of the cameras, the inhabitants of the Challenge house, all undergraduates with 2.1s or first-class degrees from Ghanaian universities, have to undertake a series of academic and business challenges, for instance answering questions about Ghanaian history and politics, and devising a new company’s marketing strategy.

The initial 12 contestants (selected from 2,000 applicants) are steadily being whittled down, with one of the two deemed by a panel of academics and business leaders to be the weakest performers that week being evicted each Friday after a text vote by the public. The grand final will be on 26 January, when the final winner will be known.

The prize? The final winner will receive a £40,000 postgraduate scholarship, including full board, to study at the University of Westminster plus a well-paid job in business and a new car on returning to Ghana. The two runners up will get one-year postgraduate scholarships for study at London Metropolitan and Thames Valley Universities. Not surprisingly, the competition between candidates is fierce for such good-quality prizes!

For the latest Challenge 2007 developments, log on to its website .

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