Five students from a pool of 32 applicants have been awarded Government of Montserrat (GoM) national scholarships to pursue undergraduate studies abroad.
This is in addition to the four students who will be supported in their efforts to attend university at the Five Island Campus of The UWI on Antigua & Barbuda.
The recipients of the 2021/2022 National Scholarships as approved by Cabinet Decision 514/2021 are as follows: Denzel Queeley is to pursue a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Power Engineering. Alyssa Ponteen is to pursue a Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology with a minor in Management. Alene Weekes was awarded a scholarship to pursue a Bachelors of Science in Accounting. Victoria Chalmers is to work towards a Bachelors of Science in Media Communication. Danelda Henry will pursue a Bachelors of Science in Public Health Nursing.
According to a statement from the Office of the Deputy Governor, 32 applications were considered by the National Training and Scholarship Advisory Committee (NTSAC). The applications were reviewed against the established criteria and recommendations were submitted to Cabinet for a decision.
“Scholarship recipients are considered based on the Government of Montserrat’s training priorities. These priorities are principally informed by the Government’s policy agenda which is the foundation of the island’s development thrust.
“For 2021-2023, the Government has prioritized training in areas that would enable Montserrat to create modern, world class education and training, deliver priority infrastructure projects to support private sector development and provide health services that support a reduction in public health concerns among others,” the release read.
In submitting their priority learning needs, government ministries and departments were also required to consider the following;
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 third consecutive year, the Montserrat Community College was included in the stakeholder consultations to develop the proposed training priorities for 2021/2022. 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 are 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.
“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.
“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 2020/2021, a total of six scholarships were awarded and 64 persons (33 studying at universities abroad and 31 studying via UWI open Campus) were given financial assistance and grants to assist with tertiary level studies.
“In confirming our commitment to developing a culture of continuous learning within the public service and the wider Montserrat Community, financial support will be this year be given to four individuals pursuing studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Five Island Campus. Three persons will read for a BSc in Management and the other a BSc in Economics (special),” the release stated.