Once a new scheme is in place, the total number of scholarships on offer in Bermuda to the University of the West Indies will increase to six – four undergraduate and two postgraduate – Education Minister Dame Jennifer Smith said today.
Minister Smith said: “The last time we met together to talk about Bermuda’s status as an Associate Contributing Memberof the University of the West Indies (UWI) was in May of last year.
“Currently, this relationship provides Bermudians with access to 800 undergraduate degree courses on three campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad.
“In May, I noted that, “the possibilities created by our relationship with the University of the West Indies are limitless! It means that Bermudian students now have a wider sphere to choose from in terms of tertiary educational options which can only benefit their educational and personal growth, understanding and development.”
“I am pleased to report today that those educational options have been expanded even further.
“I have received correspondence from Professor E. Nigel Harris, the Vice Chancellor, and ProfessorYvette Jackson, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Graduate Studies, advising us of UWI’s intention to offera postgraduate scholarship to suitably qualified persons from UWI 12+1 countries, who wish to be trained to PhD level in areas relevant to the particular needs of their countries.
“The plan is for each student to spend a year on a residential campus garnering the necessary knowledge and tools for research; followed by three years or more years doing the research leading to a PhD degree.
To emphasise their commitment to this initiative, UWI is offering a scholarship to the first student selected for this trainingfrom each of the UWI contributing countries. The scholarship will cover tuition fees for four years, along with a two-year stipend of about US ten thousand dollars per year.
To progress this proposal, UWI have requested that each country identify a “point person” to work with Professor Yvette Jacksonto bring this incredible opportunity to fruition.
“And that is wh yMrs. Deborah Thomas-Gilkes, Senior Training Manager with the Bermuda Government Department of Human Resources is here with me today. Mrs. Thomas-Gilkes runs Government’s bursary programme and is thus familiar with the various needs in different government departments; accordingly, she has been selected to serve as our liaison to UWI.
“I am excited about the possibilities that could result from this proposal, particularly at a time when students are seeking funding for further education.
“This will provide yet another avenue for Bermudians to fully develop their educational potential by accessing the highest tier of education and – best of all – they will then return to give us the benefit of their expertise in an area of critical need to Bermuda.
“As we develop the criteria around this proposal, we will keep the public informed and I look forward to the day when we can name the individual who will be the beneficiary of this fantastic opportunity.
“Once this is in place, the total number of scholarships on offer in Bermuda to UWI will increase to six -four at the undergraduate level, and two at the postgraduate level,” Minister Smith concluded.