To every student out there who was struggling to further their studies due to financial challenges, beginning to think that the dream of probably being the first to graduate in the family was dead, an opportunity could be available now.
The government has invited applications for Graduate, Post Graduate and PhD courses under the Presidential Scholarships Programme for 2018/19.
The Minister of State for Government Scholarships in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Christopher Mushohwe (yes there is a minister for that) made the announcement recently saying the scholarships will be offered under the Africa Scholarship Scheme by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). The minister indicated that the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has offered scholarships to Zimbabwe under the Africa Scholarship Scheme for the academic year 2018-2019.
Mushohwe emphasized that the scholarships were open to willing individuals but do not include Medical, Paramedical (Nursing/ Physiotherapy/Anaesthesia) and Fashion courses.
The minister encouraged applications to be made directly on http://a2ascholarships.iccr.gov.in . This is a good initiative for Zimbabweans to be offered an opportunity to study, however, will all applications be made on line? One hopes there won’t be some nepotism going on offline, yes one hopes!
For instance I know a lady who was awarded a presidential scholarship yet she did not meet the requirements. What would be the case then? She probably had a relative in the ministry, but does that mean this is to the exclusion of others who are more deserving?
The minister also advised that the scholarships included living allowance, allowance for rent, contingent grant and return economy class fare to the nearest international airport and train fare to the place of study in India. Mushohwe said:
He explained that it was very important for one to note that ICCR provides scholarships only for courses in Central or State Government Universities which have been approved by University Grants Commission. He said the list of universities where ICCR scholars are usually studying is available on the ICCR website http://iccr.gov.in/content/Africa–scholarships.
How are these scholarships any different from the other presidential scholarships that where offered under Mugabe? You might remember five Zimbabwean students enrolled at the University of Johannesburg under the Presidential Scholarship Scheme were stranded in South Africa after they were turned away presumably for non-payment of fees.
Who would want a scholarship that will leave you stranded in a foreign country because our government is broke to pay? Wouldn’t you be the talk of the town that you always default on fees payments?. Do we trust these government scholarships? Would you take the risk of going out of the country under a Zimbabwe presidential scholarships? It’s tricky.
However, India is not a bad destination for tertiary studies particularly when it’s technology and engineering programmes. The Indian government invested in these fields decades ago and the investment is paying off. Indian engineers and tech professionals are being sought out all over the world. Also it is important for Zimbabweans to get exposure from a country that was where we are not so long ago and in many ways still is but somehow making progress, good progress.
Applicants for a Bachelor of Engineering (B.E)/Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) courses were advised to have obtained a pass grade in physics, chemistry and mathematics at A-level, which is mandatory for engineering courses.
Mushohwe also released information on scholarship programmes offered by Vlir-ous in Flanders (Belgium) which he said for more information applicants were supposed to go to www.vliruos.be/scholarships, http://www.vliruos.be/scholarships. Also he gave information to reach the programme officer, Ragna Frans, on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.