Six individuals were awarded Government of Montserrat’s scholarships this year to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate studies abroad.
Each year a priority list consisting of several areas of study required to advance the Government of Montserrat’s operational and strategic development agenda is submitted to Cabinet for consideration and approval.
According to a statement from the Deputy Governor’s Office, which manages the scholarship programme, the proposed list of training priorities is principally informed by the 2020/21-2022/23 Government of Montserrat’s Policy Agenda and therefore takes into consideration some of the following areas:
i) operationalisation of plans to deliver priority infrastructure, including accessibility to the island for generating economic growth;
ii) develop and implement appropriate sector strategies for priority sectors aimed at generating foreign direct investment to leverage Montserrat’s unique assets and character;
iii) education provision improved to raise educational outcomes to be regionally and internationally competitive and equip people for sustainable livelihoods and increased protection of our children and vulnerable youth;
iv) sectoral resources unlocked for business development, investment promotion and trade facilitation aimed at stimulating economic growth;
v) an increased and expanded health promotion services to reduce public health concerns and the incidence and effect of non-communicable diseases, improve the care of the elderly and including a focus on vector-borne diseases.
In putting forward their priority learning needs, Ministries/Departments are further guided by the following considerations:
i) The number of critical posts which have been vacant for extended periods and have proven hard to fill;
ii) Positions identified as critical, hard to fill and approved for funding under the Technical Cooperation Programme;
iii) The areas required for succession planning and business continuity;
iv) The areas identified where serving officers need to attain the basic qualifications for their current job.
For the second consecutive year, the Montserrat Community College was included in the stakeholder consultations to develop the proposed training priorities for 2020/21. 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 yearly is dependent on the budget allocated to scholarships and the number of awardees who would complete their studies in the particular year.
This year was quite competitive, the statement read. A total of 49 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 whether locally-born or naturalized according to the 2010 Montserrat Constitution Order. The NTSAC uses a weighted criterion which assesses applications against the Approved Priority areas in ranking and prioritizing eligible applicants. Other factors taken into consideration are whether or not 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 the 2020/21 National scholarships as approved by Cabinet Decision 152/2020 are as follows:
Name – Priority Area # Course of Study
1 Micah Hilton 4 – BSc – Computer Programming/Software Development/Web Design/Programming/Information Technology BSc Computing (Information Technology)
2 Donique Layne 6 – BSc / MSc Clinical Psychology/Counselling/Child Psychology BSc. Applied Psychology
3 Joel Mendes 6 – BSc / MSc Clinical Psychology/Counselling/Child Psychology BSC. Psychology with Education
4 Nadine Sweeney 7 – Family Nurse Practitioner Programme MScN Family Nurse Practitioner
5 Shaynae Taylor-Lee 11 – BA Marketing BA Marketing
6 Geneve Meade 34 – BSc./MSc. Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy BSc. Physical Therapy
Among the scholarship recipients are three recent graduates from the Montserrat Community College (MCC), Shaynae Taylor-Lee of the class of 2020 and Geneve Meade and Joel Mendes of the Class of 2019.
If 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 2019/2020, a total of 12 scholarships were awarded and 63 persons (35 studying at Universities abroad and 28 studying via UWI open Campus) were given Financial Assistance and Grants to assist with tertiary level studies.