The government of Grenada has announced an increase in scholarships for Grenadians to study at St George’s University (SGU).
Government Minister in charge of Tertiary Education, Pamela Moses announced the $3million package during the weekly post-Cabinet briefing last week Tuesday at the Ministerial Complex at the Botanical Gardens in Tanteen.
Minister Moses told reporters that a rise in enrollment at SGU has resulted in an increase in scholarships awarded for study under the reciprocal arrangement where the State gives up taxes and concessions in exchange for the tuition free placements.
The new package, valued at EC$26million, includes twelve scholarships for nursing training in the University’s Associates Degree programme.
Grenada is now facing a crisis with a shortage of nursing staff for the health sector as dozens of qualified nurses leave the system to take up better posts in other countries.
Within the last two years at least 54 nurses have left the government service to work elsewhere.
The female government minister disclosed that SGU has upgraded its nursing programme and is now offering undergraduate training.
Government scholarships to SGU in Arts and Science have increased from 17 to 19, five additional placements for medicine and two additional for veterinary science, undergraduate and two in Public Health, MA.
For the January semester, the total awards is 49, up from 30, including twelve Associates Degree spots for nursing training.
The value of the 49 scholarships is EC$12million and the value for five pre-med scholarship of a one-year duration is $320, 000.00.
The government is also giving up $12.3million dollars for 17 medical scholarships of a-four-year duration.
The Veterinary programme which is four years will now accommodate three Grenadian students on tuition free scholarships at a value of $1.5million.
Students are required to sign a bond to serve the country in their field of qualification for a period of the duration of the scholarship plus one year.
“We are very pleased with our relationship with the St George’s University and the increased enrollment speaks to what is happening in our country”, said Minister Moses.
“It means that folks have faith and folks are very happy with the state of our country, throughout the world, with the climate that we have here and of course we have increased enrollment,” she added.
The minister announced that the People’s Republic of China is facilitating more scholarships for Grenadians to study at universities there.
She said the areas of study are in disciplines that are very critical for Grenada, particularly engineering.
Study in China will also be in the areas of Agronomy, primary education and physical therapy.
“The area of greatest need for Grenada is in engineering,” Minister Moses said.
“We are aware that some projects did not go off on time and some projects have been delayed, major projects for our country and really, it is because of the need for engineers,” she added.
For January, Grenadians will begin studying in China in civil engineering, power and energy engineering, chemical engineering, environmental engineering, environmental and ecological engineering.
The Chinese scholarships are for five year periods of study.