Under the deal, an initial 35 scholarships have been awarded to beneficiaries from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania during the 2020 and 2021 academic years, 18 with of them being issued last week.

The scholarships are part of a tripartite partnership between the Inter-University Council for East Africa, the government of China and the World Bank, meant to promote excellence in TVET the region.

A total of 20 scholarships will be awarded annually over the five-year period to support college students and teachers from the three countries pursue relevant technical and engineering masters or doctoral degrees in Chinese institutions.

“The scholarships are open to both male and female students from the three countries under the age of 35 years for master’s programs, and under the age of 40 years for doctoral programs,” said Gaspard Banyankimbona IUCEA executive secretary.

Out of those selected candidates for the 2020/2021 academic year, six are females, he said in a statement.

The beneficiaries will be joining premier Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics universities including Tsinghua and Zhejiang universities. Among them, nine will be undertaking PhDs, while the further nine others will join master’s programs.

“The scholarships will enable lecturers acquire postgraduate qualifications”

The awardees were selected from 16 regional flagship TVET institutions that are under the support of the World Bank, through East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project. The scholarships are part of the project’s effort to improve the quality of TVET education in East Africa.

“The scholarships will enable lecturers acquire postgraduate qualifications in the areas of manufacturing, Information and Communications Technology, Energy, Agriculture, and Transport”, the secretary explained.

Those already enrolled are however undertaking their studies from home due to Covid-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions, he clarified.

The selection process of the candidates, he noted, had been rigorous involving the colleges’ representatives, the IUCEA, the Chinese Scholarship Council, and Chinese universities involved. This year’s awardees include nine from Ethiopia, four Kenyans, and five are Tanzanians.

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