Thursday, November 26, 2015
TWENTY-FIVE Jamaicans have been awarded scholarships valued at more than $100 million to study in Russia by aluminium conglomerate UC Rusal, which owns the Alpart and Windalco bauxite companies.
The fully funded scholarships are valid for up to six years, and the students will pursue studies in chemical, mining, electrical, instrumental, and mechanical engineering.
Awardees are from the Alpart and Windalco-operating areas, and they were selected through a competitive process, which included essay writing.
The awards add to the five engineering scholarships granted by Windalco in 2012 for Jamaican students to study in Russia.
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell, during a visit to UC Rusal's headquarters in Russia earlier this year, made a request for the company to expand the scholarship programme.
"They were so swift in responding in a positive way," Minister Paulwell said while addressing a ceremony held Tuesday at Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, where the scholarships were formally presented to the recipients.
He commended UC Rusal for making the awards, noting that "there can be no greater contribution to our people than to their own personal development".
"In this world, where competition is at the heart of everything, we have to ensure that we produce the best at whatever we do and ensure that our people are exposed," the minister noted further.
Minister Paulwell urged the students to make good use of the opportunity. "When you go and you achieve, you will justify the insistent argument that we put for the expansion for the programme, and it will enable others to follow," he pointed out.
For his part, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites commended the students, noting that they have been given a wonderful opportunity. "That is the kind of aid and relationship that we need," he said.
Human resource director at Windalco, Glendon Johnson, informed that all the scholarship recipients have indicated that they will return and become role models for other young people in their communities.
"Given their performance in the selection process, we are confident that they will do themselves, their parents, and the company proud," Johnson said. more