Higher education: Seychelles’ government funds scholarships for 137 students in 2022General |Author: Salifa Karapetyan Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | August 4, 2022, Thursday @ 10:18| 2038 views
The new group will join the already 376 students studying overseas while 265 are studying locally. (Mervyn Marie)
A group of 137 Seychellois students is expected to start tertiary education this year, figures from the Agency for National Human Resource Development (ANHRD) show.
The principal scholarship administrator, Barbara Kilindo, told SNA that out of the students who have qualified for a government scholarship in 2022, 64 will be going overseas whereas 73 have qualified for local higher education studies.
The new group will join the already 376 students studying overseas while 265 are studying locally. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some students had to delay or extend their studies overseas which caused an increase in the current number of students on scholarship overseas. This number is expected to go down.
Through ANHRD, the government continues to fund training for life-long learning that is expected to meet the country's needs.
"The fields students applied for vary, and when we look at application data, most students prefer business administration and accounting. This is followed by civil engineering, computing, medicine and dentistry, a diploma in education and environmental studies. This data reflects the availability of positions and jobs. When they have finished studying in these fields, students will be able to enter different places of work, be it in the public or private sector," said Kilindo.
She added that when a student chooses to study in a Priority 1 field, the study costs are covered entirely by the government of Seychelles. This includes studies in health and welfare, education, natural sciences, environment and blue economy, engineering, and construction.
Priority 1 fields are areas of work that are most in demand in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. For students who choose a course in Priority 2, 3, or 4, their parents have to contribute 15 percent of the total cost of the scholarship chosen.
The chief executive of the agency, Nadia Lauricourt, told SNA that this year, the government provided the agency with SCR202 million ($15.2million) to cover tertiary training.
"This is divided into different components. We need to think about the fact that we are responsible for most of the costs when a student leaves on a government scholarship. This includes tuition fees, stipend, visa, and medical insurance. Each year, the agency spends a little over SCR60 million ($4.5 million) just on stipends. We need to take into account that we are responsible for anything that happens to the students," said Lauricourt.
Malaysia, England, and Mauritius are the top three destinations to which Seychellois students go for their tertiary education. There are smaller groups studying in other countries across the globe.
"The agency is always looking for venues that are safe for our students, and cost-effective while providing quality training. We work closely with the Seychelles Qualifications Authority (SQA) to ensure that a programme is accredited and if the university is a good one," said Lauricourt.
She added that "at the moment we are not sending students to Ukraine, in general, we do not send students to countries that pose a certain risk or that are unsafe."
In Seychelles, students qualify for government scholarships according to the results of their Advanced Level studies according to the UK qualifications system. They are expected to return to Seychelles after they complete their studies and sign an agreement to work for a period of time in an endeavour to contribute to the country's progress.