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Eight Jamaican students will be heading to China to pursue various Masters Degree programmes, having been awarded full scholarships under the Chinese Government’s Scholarship Programme.
They are: Claudine Housen, Alecia Newman, Norman Sandcroft, Kerry-Ann Smith, Kristina Sibblies, Keroma Bernard, Karleen Scott and Jo Anderson-Figueroa.
The awardees will pursue studies at various universities, in the areas of Journalism and Communication, International Relations, Architecture and Urban Design, Tourism Management, Applied Psychology, Information and Telecommunications, and Engineering.
Speaking at a ceremony, held at the Chinese Embassy, in Kingston, yesterday (August 4), to issue this year’s scholarships, Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Chen Jinghua, told the students that they would find their experience in China helpful in their future careers. “Perhaps you will find yourself more useful in contributing to your own country, and to your country’s relationship with China,” he said.
He said that this undertaking would also give them more opportunities to learn about the Chinese people, their history and culture.
Ambassador Jinghua advised that most of the students will need to learn some Chinese before taking up courses that are taught in Chinese. “Maybe you will face a very difficult situation at the beginning, but I am sure, given the talents that all of you have. you will overcome that difficulty very soon, once you are in the environment,” he said.
Director of Planning and Research, Scholarships Unit, in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Michele Diaz, expressed appreciation to the Government and people of China for awarding full scholarships to the Jamaican students to undertake studies in China.
“These scholarships show the breadth of educational opportunities available in China and only serve to strengthen our long-standing ties with that country. The scholarship programme has been very successful to date and long may it continue,” she said.
She congratulated the students, and told them that they have been given an opportunity “that will make you the envy of many others. You carry your hopes and dreams and the hopes and dreams of your families and friends.”
“Remember that you are Ambassadors of your country, and you are expected to hold the flag high on this new adventure. Conduct yourselves with dignity and decorum at all times. Take the best of Jamaica with you. Embrace the Chinese culture. Don’t keep yourselves locked away in your rooms and cling to each other,” Miss Diaz advised.
Responding on behalf of the awardees, Miss Housen said they were very grateful for “this wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to exploring your food, your culture, and your beautiful sights as well as learning your language above all.”
The Government of China offers scholarship opportunities at the undergraduate and postgraduate level to international students, in order to strengthen mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese people and people from all over the world, and to develop co-operation and exchanges in the fields of politics, economy, culture, education and trade between China and other countries.
In Jamaica, the programme is advertised in March each year for studies commencing in September of the same year.
To be eligible for the Masters Degree programmes, applicants should be Jamaican citizens; be under 30 years of age; possess two “A” Levels or the equivalent or hold a Bachelor’s Degree in the chosen field of study; be medically fit; and have a valid passport.
Courses last three to four years with the first year dedicated to the study of the Chinese language.
Under the full scholarship, tuition, accommodation, meals, clothing allowance, study materials, and medical care are covered.