Ghana TV apprentice graduates compete in challenge for RGU place

Postgrad Prize: Andrew Martin and last years winner, Naa Komey at RGU in Aberdeen.
Postgrad Prize: Andrew Martin and last years winner, Naa Komey at RGU in Aberdeen.RGU

Twelve young people from Ghana are currently competing in an 'Apprentice'-style business challenge watched by millions of viewers to win the opportunity to study in Aberdeen.

The Challenge is a prime-time TV show that sees graduates put through their paces by completing weekly business tasks and trials to win an all expenses paid scholarship to study for a postgraduate degree at Robert Gordon University (RGU).

During the final episode, an academic from RGU’s Aberdeen Business School (ABS) will be flown out to the Ghanaian capital, Accra, to join the judging panel and help decide which of the five finalists should be ‘gowned’.

Andrew Martin, who appeared as Chairman of the Board in the season three final, will return to Ghana for the live show on November 30.

Andrew, who is Director of the Scottish Centre of Tourism at ABS, said: "The Challenge is a huge TV event in Ghana which runs from the moment we step onto the red carpet at 5pm, to the winner being announced just before midnight. In style, it’s very much The Apprentice meets the X Factor – with my role being part Simon Cowell, part Lord Sugar.

"It’s very rewarding to be able to meet with the finalists and understand what the prize of a postgraduate education in Scotland means to these young businesspeople, in so many ways it’s worth much more than the monetary value alone.

"I’m extremely proud of what the University and our partners in Ghana are doing through The Challenge – we’re helping to change attitudes towards higher education and raise aspirations."

This is the second year that RGU has taken part and following the success of last year’s series, Ghanaian student applications have soared; the West African country is now one of the University’s biggest growth markets.

Over 4.5million people tune in for the live final of the show, which is organised and run by the British Council.

During the show, the contestants battle it out for the top prize on seven key tasks including a sales and business task, charity task and a product pitch. The scholarship board conducts weekly interviews and assesses the tasks to decide who is hired and fired before a public vote.

Last year’s winner Naa Komey, 24, from Accra is now studying for an MSc International Business at RGU’s Aberdeen Business School.

Naa said: “I watched the very first season of The Challenge on TV with my family and really wished I could take part. After I completed my undergraduate degree, I was finally persuaded by my brother to register for season three – I was delighted when I was selected to the final twelve.

"The range of tasks on The Challenge provided a great way to show off my different skills to the judging panel. The debating task was very exciting and gave me the opportunity to lead my team and impress the judges with my knowledge on economics.

"In the MSc course, I am being taught how to make effective professional decisions in relation to the global business environment by critically thinking and analysing the impact of those decisions."

Sydney Hushie, Challenge Co-ordinator at the British Council in Ghana, said: "The Challenge for us is an opportunity to expose young people to UK education and support them in building a career. The vision of the British Council is to create opportunities worldwide and the challenge helps us to do just that.

"Seeing the winners crowned over the last three seasons has been a thrill as we know we are directly changing the life of one individual to the benefit of the entire nation."

For more information including news and episodes, please visit The Challenge through their website or on Facebook.

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