ANHRD meets with student cohort of 2020 • Government had to restrict the venues without compromising the quality of education |27 March 2021
The Agency for National Human Resource Development (ANHRD) convened a first meeting with the cohort of students who completed their A levels in 2020 and who are eligible for a scholarship.
Some 60 youths attended the meeting which was held at the Seychelles Institute for Teacher Education (Site) at Mont Fleuri. The Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin, attended the meeting in a show of support to the ANHRD in this trying time.
The agency’s chief executive, Nadia Lauricourt, noted that this is the very first ‘conversation’ that the ANHRD is having with the cohort of 2020.
“Since the beginning of the year, you have been asking when will we meet? When are we going? What are the procedures? You were told to be patient and today is only the first in the series of meetings that ANHRD organises each year for students who qualify for the Seychelles government scholarship.”
With the new economic reality, the CEO urged the students to be “positive, open minded, respectful, tolerant, dedicated, motivated and you will achieve a lot”.
“It was through your motivation, dedication and hard work that you have succeeded in your studies. ANHRD staff will be there to help and guide you at every step,” she added.
Right at the outset, Minister Valentin explained that in view of the economic challenges of Seychelles and the world, the agency has devised a plan of action, outlining clearly the available opportunities for the students’ higher education. “We fully acknowledge that several of the plans and schemes that were available when you started your post-secondary education no longer exist as they were. We are all experiencing the most unprecedented moment but as we recover from the knockdown we remain resilient, realistic and supportive,” the minister said.
“However, what has remained consistent despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic is the government’s willingness and commitment to facilitate students’ access to university and higher education studies. Funding from the Seychelles government, along with scholarships from other partner countries, present a very good base of choice. We are here today to present to you new schemes and scholarship plans that you may potentially choose from. These plans will successfully empower you to participate fully in the socio-economic development of Seychelles once you have completed your programme of study.”
Restriction of choices
Minister Valentin explained that especially for the Seychelles’ government -funded scholarships, the government has restricted to venues that are most cost- effective without compromising quality.
“My dear students, securing a scholarship in this challenging period can be a difficult target to achieve for many students. We consider the goodwill of our partner countries timely, relevant and significant as it complements the goodwill of the Seychelles government. I hope that you will grab the various opportunities unconditionally. As I mentioned earlier, despite the challenges, we are doing our best to ensure that our students get the relevant assistance to pursue their higher degree programmes and comfortably come back to play an active role in the socio-economic development of this very dynamic society. The country will need you upon successful completion of your programme. This is why right from the outset, we are asking you to pursue training in priority areas of the country. This is the best piece of career advice that you may get from the agency.”
The director of marketing at the University of Seychelles, Dolivette Chang-Ko, also gave an overview of the different programmes available at the University of Seychelles, which we will come back on in another edition.
Minister Valentin also expressed his concern on the number of bilateral scholarships that are available and our youth do not apply for them.
“We have worked out how to better assist the youth to benefit from these scholarships. It might be that they are not even aware of the scholarships. If we make use of all these scholarships, it will relieve the government financially. We will present these to the youths as they are applying for scholarships.”
Channel Quatre, senior scholarship administrator and Merna Confait, principal scholarship administrator, followed with their presentations of the different scholarships offered by the government of Seychelles and bilateral countries. “The agency perceives Higher Education Scholarships offered by the government of Seychelles as “… a financial contribution towards supporting high achieving students to allow them to attain higher education qualifications and ultimately participate in the socio-economic development of the country,” explained Mr Quatre.
The scholarship scheme is based on 4 main principles: Equal opportunity for tertiary education for all Seychellois; Training in areas of national priority; Students need to meet set criteria and Scholarships are awarded subject to availability of funds.
GOS Overseas Scholarship – fully funded scholarship to study abroad in approved venue. The criteria are students have to obtain 18 academic points or better; students from SBSA who have obtained 85% grade or better and students from professional centres who have emerged as Best 5 and who meet requirements for a degree.
The following are covered: Tuition fees; Stipends and other allowances; Airfares by cheapest route to and from training venue (at the start and completion); Visa fees; Medical Insurance and 20kg excess baggage upon return.
GOS Local Scholarship - fully funded scholarship to study locally (at UniSey or TGMI). The criteria are for students who have obtained a minimum of 12 academic points or better; Students from SBSA who have obtained 75% grade or better and Students from professional centres who have emerged as Best 5 and who meet requirements for entry.
The following are covered: Tuition fees; Monthly Allowances (SCR3,685 - inclusive of bus allowance) and Monthly Housing Allowance for students from Inner Islands.
Local Scholarship – Fully funded scholarship to study locally - online. The criteria for this scholarship is that the tuition fees must not exceed USD20,000. The students will receive the tuition fees and monthly allowances.
Partial Scholarship (with parental contribution). These are awarded to students who qualify for an overseas scholarship. Contribution of 15% of total cost of training- Students who choose to study in a field that appears Priority 2-5 in the Priority Areas Table and in an approved venue.
The students will be awarded an annual grant of SCR200,000 for choosing to study in a field that appears Priority 2-5 in the Priority Areas Table but not in an approved venue.
Students bear cost fees during application process and have to apply for placement with the university. Desk officers allocated per country will help the students during this process and also it is to be noted that all students receiving a scholarship will be bonded for a certain amount of time and pre-service applicants are bonded to the Republic of Seychelles.
Bilateral/ Multilateral Scholarships
Mrs Confait gave a thorough explanation on all the current bilateral/multilateral scholarships. “These are awarded by foreign governments/ organisations and are awarded as and when available and they are awarded to students who choose to study in an area that is considered priority by the country and as guided by the Scholarship offer,” she noted.
Currently students can apply for the Romanian Government Scholarship open till April 26 in the fields of Political and Administrative Sciences, Educational Sciences, Romanian Culture and Civilisation, Journalism, Technical Studies, Oil and Gas, Agricultural Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Architecture and Visual Arts.
From the ADA University of Azerbaijan-Fellowship programme open till April 1, students can apply in the fields of Business Administration, Finance, Economics, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Information Technology, International Studies, Digital Media and Communications, Public Affairs and Law.
For Full Tuition and Partial Scholarship for 2021 offered by the PCTE Group of Institutes in India, students can apply in the fields of Engineering, Business Management, Commerce, Computer Applications, Hotel Management, Pharmacy, Travel and Tourism, Biotechnology, Medical Lab Sciences, Agriculture (Honours), Fashion Design, Journalism and Mass Communication.
From the Japanese Government, students can apply in the fields of Education, Technology, Personal Care and Nutrition, Education and Welfare, Business, Fashion and Home Economics, Culture and General Education, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Information, Communication and Network Engineering, Materials Engineering, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Maritime Engineering and other fields.
For the ICCR Scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year, open until April 23, students can apply in the fields of Arts, Science, Engineering, Business Administration, Accounts, commerce, Performing Arts and Humanities except for Medicine and Fashion, Indian Culture such as Dance, Music, Theatre, Performing Art, Sculpture, Indian Language and Indian Cuisine.
The minister concluded the meeting by congratulating all the students for the efforts and also for being the best students of the country.
“So as you prepare to make your choice today I am really asking you to consult experts at ANHRD about future job prospects. Do not go naively. Inform yourself. Allow yourselves to be guided and counselled. Move about. Talk to professionals around. Examine the local labour market and make informed decisions. However, you will have to remain within our means and ability to support you. This is just your first degree and you are only below 20. You have a bright future ahead to further shape and pursue your dream within the most realistic framework. Believe me my dear students, I am happy and excited to be part of your journey, part of your future, and along with the staff from ANHRD, and the University of Seychelles, we will work even harder this year, to secure more alternatives and options for Seychellois students. I commend your trust, your understanding while I praise your accomplishment so far. Keep moving!! Keep going and all the very best.”