Ten individuals have been awarded Government of Montserrat scholarships this year to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate studies abroad.
Each year a priority list consisting of a number of areas of study required to advance the Government of Montserrat’s operational and strategic development agenda is submitted to Cabinet for consideration and approval.
The proposed list of training priorities is principally informed by the Government’s Policy Agenda and therefore takes into consideration the following areas namely: Health and Social Services, Financial Management, Good Governance, Environmental Management, Education and lifelong learning, Built Environment Human Resource Management and Land Surveying.
In putting forward their priority learning needs, Ministries/Departments are further guided by the following considerations:
1. The number of critical posts which have been vacant for extended periods and have proven hard to fill;
2. Positions identified as critical, hard to fill and approved for funding under the Technical Cooperation Programme;
3. The areas required for succession planning and business continuity;
4. The areas identified where serving officers need to attain the basic qualifications for their current job.
This year, the Montserrat Community College was included in the stakeholder consultations to develop the proposed training priorities for 2019/20. This was to ensure that the island’s talent management considerations support the retention of the island’s young people by clearly demonstrating that there are opportunities available to them at home and that their interests and aspirations were important to Montserrat’s national development.
The number of awards issued each year is dependent on the budget allocated to scholarships and the number of awardees who would complete their studies in the particular year.
Additionally, there are several stages of the application process and students must meet the eligibility criteria.
This year a total of forty-three applications were considered by the National Training and Scholarship Advisory Committee (NTSAC). The applications were considered against an established criteria and recommendations forwarded to Cabinet for a decision.
During the application process, scholarships are awarded to Montserratians and individuals who are deemed as Montserratians in the 2010 Montserrat Constitution Order.
In ranking and prioritizing eligible applicants, the NTSAC uses a weighted criterion which assesses applications against the Approved Priority areas.
In addition to the placement of an area on the approved list, other factors taken into consideration are as follows: a) whether an applicant has been accepted at a recognized tertiary institution, the cost of the programme, the duration of the programme and the applicants’ personal statement.
The Recipients of 2019/20 National scholarships are
1. John Jeffers Jr
BSc Valuation and Property Management
2. Raston Fenton
Associates Degree Surveying and Geographic Information Technology
3. Chaquille Sam
BEng. Construction Engineering
4. Orlando Kelly
BSc Surveying and Geographic Information Technology
5. Stevikha Foster
B. Sc. Medicine
6. Szjuen Griffith
BSc. Urban & Regional Planning
7. Enver Browne
BSc Media Technology
8. Kendell Jeffers
Integrated Master’s Degree – Mpharm
9. Doron Cassell
BSc. Computer Science
10. Brenda Daley
M. Sc. Nursing Administration
Among the scholarship recipients are four recent graduates from the Montserrat Community College (MCC), Stevikha Foster, Doron Cassell and Enver Browne of the class of 2019 and Kendell Jeffers of the Class of the 2018.
In the event that any of the awardees are unable to take up the scholarship or accept another scholarship, the award would be offered to the next eligible person on a roll up basis.
In fiscal year 2018/19, a total of six scholarships were awarded and 51 persons (17 studying at Universities abroad and 34 studying via UWI Open Campus) were given Financial Assistance and Grants to assist with tertiary level studies.