JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The British High Commission in Kingston announced in August that 23 Jamaicans had been awarded scholarships to pursue master’s degree programmes in the UK for the 2016/2017 academic year.
  • This is the highest number of awardees in Jamaica, coming from only three recipients in 2013.

Young attorney-at-law André Coore is embarking on a journey that will better prepare him to contribute to the Government’s mission to bring prosperity to the Jamaican people.

The 2016 Chevening scholar is in the United Kingdom (UK), where he is patiently awaiting the September 26 day when he starts his year-long Master of Laws course in International Law at the University College London.

He is excited, as he knows the programme will better equip him to meaningfully contribute to the push for economic growth of five per cent in four years, when he returns to his substantive position as Legal Officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

“When I return, my intention is to use the knowledge I would have gained to add to the work to promote and develop and reform policies in terms of trade that will lead to economic growth,” Mr. Coore says in an interview with JIS News.

He informs that the areas of study include investment and trade law, which are key components of the Government’s policies to spur growth.

He is also thrilled at the opportunity to be exposed to a different culture as well as a front row seat to the playing out of political affairs in the UK.

Mr. Coore says he is also looking forward to the range of networking activities that are provided to recipients of the coveted Chevening scholarship.

Chevening is the UK Government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders. Funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations, recipients of the scholarships and fellowships are personally selected by British Embassies and High Commissions throughout the world.

The British High Commission in Kingston announced in August that 23 Jamaicans had been awarded scholarships to pursue master’s degree programmes in the UK for the 2016/2017 academic year. This is the highest number of awardees in Jamaica, coming from only three recipients in 2013.

Mr. Coore, one of 11 recipients from the public sector, tells JIS News he feels honoured to have been awarded.

“It’s a humbling feeling. It is an honour because Chevening is a very competitive and prestigious scholarship,” he notes.

The Chevening scholar, who hails from Runaway Bay, St. Ann, credits his supportive family and rounded upbringing, as well as a strong Christian background, as the roots of his success.

He believes these qualities, matched with his leadership experience throughout his academic and professional career, stood out in his application. He also thinks demonstrability of the benefit of his area of study to the country stood out in his application, earning him a spot among the scholars.

Alecia Darby, who is employed as a Chief Investigator with the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), also received a full scholarship to pursue a Master of Arts in Applied Security Strategy at the University of Exeter in South West England.

Recalling the moment she received word of her award, Ms. Darby tells JIS News, “I was jumping up and down because I was just extremely excited. It felt like such an accomplishment.”

She says she applied out of a desire to equip herself with additional skills and techniques in her field as well as to learn from the experiences of persons in security. She says she is looking forward to seeing how best the skills she will garner during her course of study can be used to advance her work at INDECOM.

“Based on what the course offers, I believe it will contribute greatly, particularly as it relates to those tough decisions in some critical moments,” she says.

Ms. Darby is confident her strong academic and professional accomplishments earned her the scholarship. Like Mr. Coore, she is also looking forward to the new experiences of a different country.

Phillip Cross, who will be reading for a Master of Law with a focus on International and Environmental Law, also says he considers it a great honour to be a Chevening scholar, as it is an indication of confidence in his potential and a belief that he can make a contribution to the country.

“We will have to live up to those expectations,” he tells JIS News.

Mr. Cross is an attorney-at-law with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), who has a keen interest in issues relating to biodiversity, climate change and wildlife crime.

“At NEPA, these are issues that we face often; so this gives a better understanding of what the best practices are to address these kinds of issues,” he notes.

Armed with a determination to continue making a difference in his field, Mr. Cross says he is looking forward to his studies at the University College London, and the opportunity to acquire knowledge on the global issues in order to later apply it to the Jamaican reality.

“We have a lot of resources which we are losing very quickly and I just want to do my part to ensure we can conserve as much of it as possible and that we can pursue economic growth and development in a sustainable manner,” he notes.

Other public-sector awardees include Police Inspector attached to the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), Marlon James, who will read for a degree in Security and International Law at the University of Manchester; and Acting Senior Bank Examiner at the Bank of Jamaica, Sheriffa Monroe, who will pursue a Master in Economics and Finance at the University of Bristol.

Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) pilot, Major Brandon Chambers, will also be pursuing postgraduate studies in Applied Security and Strategy at the University of Exeter; and Legal Officer at the Forestry Department, Rainee Oliphant, will pursue a degree in Climate Change and Environmental Policy at the University of Leeds.

Senior Public Relations Officer with INDECOM, Kahmile Reid, was also awarded the scholarship to study International Public Relations and Global Communication Management at Cardiff University; and Courtney Laidlaw from the Ministry of Transport and Mining will study Infrastructure Engineering and Management at the University of Surrey.

Jamaica Constabulary Force member assigned to the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), Theresa Wright, will also be studying International Relations (Security) at the University of Birmingham; and Senior Analytical and Policy Officer at the Bank of Jamaica, Kemar Richard, will read for International Banking and Finance at the University College London.

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