Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 11, 2016 (SKNIS): Another milestone in the bilateral ties between the Government of National Unity and the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been achieved as 12 individuals will soon make their way to Taiwan to receive higher education at the end of August and during the month of September.
“This generous act of the Taiwanese Government must be given recognition since the cost to attend many universities has risen in recent times,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Honourable Shawn Richards, speaking at a dinner and awards ceremony for the students. “These scholarships are becoming very attractive as many persons are desirous of obtaining a university degree, but are deterred by the very high cost of tuition fees and the heavy burdens of student loans.”
The deputy prime minister said that the students, namely Shevanee Nisbett, Rhondel Philip, Dhaima Golding, Hadassah Willett, Kemarri Armstrong, Virecia Williams, Chantel Pemberton, Erika Fraites, Kenrick Pollock, Jamalje Muzine, Adonique Stapleton and Devaughn Amory, will be pursuing Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in various disciplines. Areas of study include environment, sustainable development, international health, agribusiness, medicine, international business, computer science and information engineering.
“As our nation is rapidly developing, many of these areas of study would be in demand as we seek to compete with the global market,” said Minister Richards. “Instead of having to look outside of our borders for experts, we would have individuals right here in our country who would be well able and ready to get the required jobs done.”
Minister Richards added that as countries around the world battle with health, technological and environmental issues, it is hoped that the students are exposed to new ideas and methodologies and will return to incorporate them into their various workplaces.
Among the 12 scholarship recipients, that will be leaving the federation for Taiwan, eight students received the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Taiwan Scholarships, whereas four received the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF). However, whereas the ICDF students will go straight to university, the MOFA students with undergo one year of Mandarin Chinese in learning centres, then one year later, would have to apply to universities in Taiwan to pursue their bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
The deputy prime minister said that the government desires to see the continual development of its human resources. He added that people are critical in the development of any country and it appreciates the relationship that has matured between the Republic of China (Taiwan) with the federation since 1983.
Minister Richards extended his thanks to the Government and the people of the Republic of China on Taiwan and more specifically the Resident Ambassador, His Excellency George Gow Wei Chiou, for his hard work and commitment.
“We are grateful for yet another commitment from your government in working collaboratively with our country,” said Minister Richards.
The scholarship awards ceremony was attended by several ministers of government including Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, Premier Vance Amory, the Honourable Vincent Byron, the Honourable Wendy Phipps and the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd; Cabinet Secretary Mrs. Josephine Huggins, Mrs. Vincent Byron and relatives of the scholarship awardees were also in attendance.