REVISED POLICY: POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS FOR NATIONALS WITH FIRST CLASS HONOURS DEGREES (2012)

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1 REVISED POLICY: POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS FOR NATIONALS WITH FIRST CLASS HONOURS DEGREES (2012) 1

2 INTRODUCTION The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has embarked on a programme which focuses on people-centred development in order to secure a sustainable and prosperous nation. This development thrust is built on the following seven (7) interconnected development pillars: (i) People-Centred Development (ii) Poverty Eradication and Social Justice (iii) National and Human Security (iv) Information and Communication Technologies (v) A More Diversified, Knowledge Intensive Economy (vi) Good Governance (vii) Foreign In keeping with the above pillars and specifically pillar five (5) A More Diversified, Knowledge Intensive Economy which aims at building on the native genius of our people, the Government is facilitating the creation of a well educated and skilled workforce. 2. The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has invested heavily in tertiary education over the last five (5) years, with an estimated $500,000, being spent on scholarship programmes that support nationals of Trinidad and Tobago pursuing tertiary education. From 2008, nationals graduating with First Class Honours, at the undergraduate level, from specified local and regional universities are offered scholarships to pursue postgraduate studies at the master s or doctorate levels. Also eligible for these scholarships are returning scholarship winners who graduated in 2008 and onwards, with First Class Honours at the Bachelor s level from any accredited local, regional or international institution. 3. Many graduates have been unable to finance tertiary level education at the master s and doctorate levels because of the high cost of postgraduate programmes. The cost of such programmes has been estimated as follows: INSTITUTION AVERAGE COST OF TUITION (per annum) University of the West Indies $ 60,000 Arthur Lok Jack Institute of Business $100,000 Other Local Academic Institutions $139,000 2

3 The average annual cost of postgraduate programmes abroad is estimated at $375, per annum (including tuition, room and board). POLICY GOAL The Post graduate Scholarship Programme seeks to encourage and retain those citizens who achieved academic excellence and to foster a culture of excellence by funding studies towards their attainment of higher levels of tertiary education. With the establishment of the Postgraduate Scholarships for nationals with First Class Honours at the Bachelor s level, Trinidad and Tobago will gain a strategic advantage in an increasingly competitive and integrated global economy. POLICY OBJECTIVES Objectives of the policy: To contribute to the development of a knowledge-based and innovationdriven society; To encourage eligible candidates to continue their research studies and explore innovative ideas and solutions to national issues and problems; To encourage the nation s highest achievers to continue their research studies and explore innovative ideas and solutions to national issues and problems; To increase the human resource capital of the country and influence the national strategic direction; To provide nationals with the opportunity to pursue post graduate training at approved institutions; To develop the skills and talents of students who have excelled academically at the undergraduate and post graduate levels; To build the leadership capacity of the nation. REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF THE SCHOLARSHIP Applicants must be citizens of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and must not be a permanent resident of any other country. Applicants must have attained First Class Honours undergraduate during 2008 and onward. A First Class Honours undergraduate degree will be determined as follows: a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.60; Applicants who are not government scholars must have graduated, in 2008 and onwards, with First Class Honours at the Undergraduate level from any of the following institutions: o The University of the West Indies o University of Trinidad and Tobago o University of the Southern Caribbean 3

4 o St. George s University, Grenada Also eligible for these scholarships are returning scholarship recipients who graduated in 2008 and onwards with First Class Honours at the Undergraduate level from any accredited local, regional or international institution. Applicants must provide proof of acceptance or proof of being enrolled at an accredited institution in an accredited post graduate programme. Applicants must be fifty (50) years under. Particulars of the Scholarship: The area of study must be related to the developmental needs of Trinidad and Tobago and the region and the area of study must reflect the developmental needs identified in the seven (7) interconnected development pillars. Scholarships are primarily for eligible applicants wishing to pursue studies at any accredited local, regional or international institution that will ultimately lead to a PhD degree. However, eligible applicants wishing to pursue studies only up to the Master s level will still qualify for the award. Scholarships would not be awarded to pursue programmes of study regionally or internationally that are available locally. Successful applicants will be required to sign an agreement that details the terms and conditions of the scholarship awarded, which will include the payment of a penalty of x% of the value of the scholarship in the instance that the scholar defaults on the agreement. The scholarship agreement will be governed by the laws of Trinidad and Tobago; Upon completion of the degree, successful applicants will be required to serve in either the private or public sector of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, in accordance with existing government policy as follows: COST OF AWARD Up to $50, Over $50, and up to $100, Over $100, and up to $150, Over $150, and up to $200, Over $200, PERIOD OF OBLIGATORY SERVICE One (1) year Two (2) years Three (3) years Four (4) years Five (5) years The scholarship would cover the following costs: o Tuition and Compulsory Fees o Personal Maintenance Allowance / Salary Allowance (where applicable) o Book Allowance o Special Equipment Allowance (a one-time payment) o Warm Clothing Allowance (where applicable) 4

5 o Return plane ticket (a one-time payment, where applicable) Duration of the Scholarship The duration of the scholarship should be guided by the following: Degree Masters Taught Masters research Masters of Philosophy Doctorate Medical Specialities Duration 1 year to 18 months 2 years 2 years 4 years maximum 5 years maximum ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS The scholarship will be managed and administered by the Ministry of Public Administration (Scholarships and Advanced Training Division) in accordance with existing institutional and administrative arrangements for the award of scholarships as follows: Applicants will complete and submit the prescribed scholarship application form, on-line at along with the required information, to the Ministry of Public Administration (Scholarships and Advanced Training Division); Information will be made available via the website; Scholarships and Advanced Training Division (SATD) will provide comprehensive academic and career advisory services to all applicants for the scholarship. The role and functions of the SATD are as follows: 1. Conducting interviews with applicants to evaluate and offer guidance on the area of study. 2. Advising applicants to choose relevant study programmes, courses and research tied to the country s Development Needs in an attempt to maximise training investment, employment and obligation to country. 3. Guiding applicants when choosing Accredited Institutions. 4. Assisting applicants with decision making and career direction. The Scholarship Selection Committee will consider and review all eligible applicants; Applicants will be advised of the outcome of the application on receipt of the confirmed decision of the Cabinet. The scholarship will be processed in accordance with existing administrative arrangements. Upon successful completion of studies and reporting scholarship recipients will be provided with career and placement services. 5

6 MONITORING AND EVALUATION The Programme will be monitored and evaluated by the Ministry of Public Administration to ensure: that the high priority human resource needs of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago are met and the needs gaps eroded; that there is consistency and transparency in service delivery; that the opportunities for continuous improvements are maximised; the employment of returning scholars and the fulfilment of all obligations to the country. return on investment in training career placement MINISTRY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION 6

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