Amid protests against the admission of foreign students to local universities, Cabinet yesterday approved a memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Higher Education to expand the scholarship scheme to such students from ten more countries, Daily Mirror learns.
So far the ministry has limited its scholarship programme to students from 48 countries. Cabinet granted approval on June 23, 2006 to offer 100 scholarships to students from these 48 countries. Yet the government had been able to grant this facility only to five students: they are from Pakistan, Palestine and Kenya. Two of them are studying at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and the other three at Moratuwa University.
The ministry, in its Cabinet memorandum, said 166 applications had been received for 2012. Out of them, 35 students had been selected, but some had later declined the offer. The ministry is now planning to offer scholarships to 23 students selected from Bhutan, Pakistan, Nepal, Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria.
The ministry, in an attempt to popularise this programme worldwide, has added ten more countries to the eligibility list. The countries are Swaziland, Oman, Estonia, Iceland, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Latvia, Ethiopia, Lithuania and the Seychelles.
The government has decided to pay the air fare and visa fees of the students from these ten countries and the other 48 countries. One year’s training in English will also be given to those from non English speaking countries such as China and Vietnam. A familiarisation programme will be conducted for them for two weeks. (Kelum Bandara)