The acid test of (the western, German-derived, authority model) colleges and universities would seem to be the improvement they offer society. Given that the most influential nations of the world are run by people educated under this model at these institutions, and that said nations are currently in the process of economically exploiting the world, mass-imprisoning their own citizens, and spawning death, destruction and catastrophic pollution of the only human habitat we currently have the capability of dwelling in--among other things--that test seems to indicate failure.
Throwing degrees at people (or even actually educating some of the poor, if such were the result of these university educations) is a proven failure, mathematically speaking, when we consider that the leadership of the powerful nations is almost wholly university educated. Even if scholarships quadrupled education in South Africa (or America) would the resulting leaders be any different?
Does job-training work when there are no available jobs? Will a bunch of more-educated sans culottes (again, even if that were the actual result) be able to motivate the Pentagon to stop shredding children apart? Is the history of American intelligence operations' connections to universities worldwide forgotten, or never learned?
The subtle implication of scholarship programs is often a paternalistic (Orientalism for Africa!) finger-waggling: if you would just send more of your students to universities, you wouldn't have these problems! I.e., these problems are your fault--not the result of, say, the IMF, the World Bank, or centuries of colonialism/foreign intervention/pick-your-term.
Of course, the American underclass demonstrates the flaw as well. Scholarships, universities, colleges and "opportunities" abound. Almost the entire society gushes about formal education as some manner of solution. Yet, again, the American underclass exists. Should we be striving to turn South Africa into America? Black America, to use one example, has infant mortality rates comparable to, shall we say, less industrialized nations.