By Staff Writer
Cayman’s brightest and most able students will be given a boost this September as the Ministry of Education has just announced that they have expanded their scholarship programme for Caymanian students looking to pursue undergraduate studies at prestigious universities overseas. The brightest students will get a much larger grant to pursue their studies, while all existing and new scholarship recipients will see the annual amount they receive increase from CI$20,000 to CI$30,000.
Because of the cost involved, some highly able students could only dream about attending universities such as Oxford and Cambridge in the UK and the Ivy League schools in the US, however now, thanks to a CI$100,000 scholarship on offer, those dreams can become a reality.
Due to be implemented for the autumn 2021/2022 academic year, the Cayman Scholar Award will provide full tuition support to the most outstanding Caymanian male and female scholars as they pursue overseas undergraduate tertiary studies.
Minister for Education, Juliana O'Connor-Connolly, said throughout the years, they had seen several brilliant Caymanian scholars who missed out on the opportunity to attend some of the world's most prestigious universities because of insufficient funding.
“Through this award, our top male and female student will each receive a scholarship of up to CI$100,000 per annum, allowing them to soar to the pinnacle of academic achievement without the barrier of funding, and enabling them to attend approved Ivy League or gold tiered universities," she advised.
All overseas undergraduate students will see their grants increase from CI$20,000 to CI$30,000 per year for both current and new undergraduate students.
The Minister outlined why they were expanding the financial aid given to Caymanians to pursue tertiary education abroad.
“While we ensure that our citizens have access to quality tertiary education, we must also encourage them to pursue studies in those disciplines that are most critical to nation-building. And so, commencing in Fall 2021, students pursuing undergraduate studies in education focusing on classroom teaching will be eligible for up to CI$35,000 in annual tertiary funding," she stated.
The Minister cited the increased cost of attending US universities as a particular motivation for increasing the scholarship funding amount.
The Ministry said another significant enhancement to the scholarship programme was the widening of post-secondary scholarship funding to include students pursuing first-year qualifications in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, the Advanced Placement programme and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination. Up until this point, those students’ funding only began at the second year of study.
By extending funding throughout the duration of these three programmes, the Ministry could now provide greater assistance to Caymanian students as well as provide parity across the system, she said.
For more information about the Cayman Scholar and other enhanced scholarship offerings, contact MoE’s Scholarship Secretariat Unit by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.