US 1.1 million in Open Scholarships for 2010

On the international higher education scene the response to economic decline has been large spikes in tuition rates and significantly reduced financial aid. UK students have responded to their new coalition government’s education policy with heavily supported protests some of which have even turned violent. As evidenced by the theme of this issue of The Pelican, we at The University of the West Indies (UWI) would be among the first to admit that our region and our regional university have felt the backlash of economic downturn. However, in the face of economic decline UWI has been making conscious decisions to go against the trend, focusing efforts on making scholarships and bursaries more accessible to students as opposed to reducing financial aid.

At the start of the new academic year 2010/2011, 41 new undergraduate students became beneficiaries of the prestigious UWI Open Scholarships awarded for the academic year 2010/2011 with a net value of approximately US $1.1 million. The scholarships will cover the cost of tuition (where applicable), living expenses, books and incidentals and will be renewed based on the scholar’s maintenance of a minimum GPA of 3.0 throughout their course of study.

The 2010 Open Scholars were selected from approximately 900 applicants from across UWI’s contributing member countries. They hail from Anguilla, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and The Bahamas. Of the 41, 29 are female and 12 male, and they are pursuing degree programmes across the faculties of Engineering, Law, Humanities and Education, Medical Sciences, Science and Agriculture, Pure and Applied Sciences and Social Sciences at UWI’s Cave Hill, Mona and St. Augustine Campuses.

Applications for the UWI 2011 Open Scholarships are now open. In making the announcement Pro Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Studies at the University, Professor Alvin Wint expressed pleasure in the continuation of the Open Scholarships. “The Open Scholarships programme is one of the ways that UWI is attracting and rewarding high achievers among the region’s students. The scholarships are particularly attractive to students from our contributing countries where, unlike Barbados and Trinidad, tertiary tuition is not government subsidised. We are very happy to offer the Open Scholarships in these financially trying times.”

The deadline for applications to the 2011 Open Scholarships is January 31, 2011. First time UG applicants from all 16 contributing countries including associate member country Bermuda are eligible to apply.