Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Shawn Richards and Resident Taiwanese Ambassador to St. Kitts-Nevis Tom Lee seen at center flanked by 12 of 14 scholarship recipients-right to left- (Tronnicia Flanders), Ruan Tonyce , Alicia Ajah De Silva, Xavier Smith, Kendale Liburd, Javio Felix, Yazim Leader, Nezrene Roberts,  Trefasana White (Nevis), Kareem Parry (Nevis), Dakeza Samuel and Denrick Jeffers during the 2019 scholarship ceremony. The two other Nevisians Jovelle Lawrence and Brandon Frederick were unable to attend.  (Spokesman Snap)

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Thursday 15th August 2019) –A combined total of 14 nationals from the Federation-four from Nevis and 10 from St.Kitts- are slated to depart the Federation later this month to pursue academic studies in the Republic of China (Taiwan) having been successfully selected as the 2019 recipients of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Taiwan Scholarship and the International Cooperative and Development Fund (ICDF) Scholarship.

A luncheon awards ceremony, organised by the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Ministry of Education of Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, was held yesterday (Wednesday) at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) located at Fortlands in Basseterre.

Under the two programs, students’ airfare, housing, tuition and credit fees, textbook costs and monthly allowance will be covered. For MOFA, students are expected to undergo a one-year study of Mandarin language at different universities collectively before pursuing their academic interests.

The nine MOFA (9) awardees along with the respective language universities and their areas of interest are: Denrick Jeffers (China Medical University-Occupational Safety and Health), Kareem Parry (Center of Chinese Language, FuJen Catholic University-Computer Science), Nezrene Roberts (Chinese Language Education Center, National Taipei University of Education-Architecture), Xavier Smith ( Chinese Language Education Center, National Taipei University of Education-Criminal Justice), Dakeza Samuel (Chinese Language Education Center, National Dong Hwa University-Computer Science), Trefasana White (Chinese Language Education Center, National Taipei-International Business and Trade), Tronnicia Flanders (Finance), Javio Felix (Computer Science) and Jovelle Lawrence (Center of Chinese Language, FuJen Catholic University).

The five (5) ICDF awardees are: Brandon Frederick (National Pingtung of Science and Technology Undergraduate Program in Tropical Agriculture), Yazim Leader (Kun Shan University International Bachelor Program in Mechanical Engineering), Ruan Tonyce (Kun Shan University International Bachelor Program in Mechanical Engineering), Kendale Liburd (Yuan Ze University International Master’s Program in Industrial Engineering and Management) and Alicia Ajah De Silva (Ming Chuan University Undergraduate Program in Journalism and Mass Communication).

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Shawn Richards in addressing the scholarship recipients commented: “You are the most recent beneficiaries of the favourable diplomatic relations between our Federation and the Republic of China (Taiwan).”

“The Republic of China (Taiwan), through its embassy, has partnered with us in so many ways especially in the realm of education. Our nation’s development agenda continues to be supported by the Republic of China (Taiwan). Today’s ceremony is yet another way,” he also remarked.

According to the Education Minister, with respect to scholarships for undergraduate and post graduate studies, there is an average of twelve Taiwanese scholarships given annually.

“Undoubtedly, this is a very substantial investment by the Republic of China (Taiwan) in our young people. What makes this so tremendous is that while the overall cost of further education continues to rise, these are full scholarships which cater for such things as housing, tuition, insurance, text book costs, return airfare and credit fees and the awardees also receive a monthly allowance. What a tremendous opportunity these scholarship recipients are receiving,” he said.

Resident Taiwanese Ambassador to St. Kitts-Nevis Tom Lee spoke about the importance of education.

“Education is the key not only to your personal success and gains but also to your country’s development. That’s why as a strong ally of St.Kitts and Nevis Taiwan is very willing to make our contribution in this area…”

He pointed that more scholarship promotions will be carried by the embassy.

“This year, our embassy has done a lot of promotions and I myself also attended a radio talk show to promote our scholarship programme and this year we have 14 students compared to last year [13 students], we have one more. If you ask me whether I’m satisfied  or not… of course my answer is not and you can be rest assure that our embassy next year  will work even harder and make sure that we will have more students here.”

The Taiwanese ambassador congratulated all recipients and encouraged them to do their best in their home away from home.

“Taiwan is known for our generosity and hospitality so basically very soon you will find Taiwan your home away from home so I want to encourage you to make the most of your stay in Taiwan and study as hard as you can so when you come back to St.Kitts and Nevis, you can start making your contributions to your country.”