The Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), in partnership with the People’s Republic of China and the World Bank, has awarded twenty (20) scholarships to lecturers and tutors from Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutes (TVET) across East Africa for postgraduate studies at top Universities in China.
The scholarships were awarded to lecturers and tutors from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania as part of capacity building on the academic and technical capacity of faculty members from Regional TVET Centres of Excellence.
The scholarship is part of the East African Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASPRIP), funded by the World Bank, to improve the quality and relevance of TVET programmes in the region.
Out of the 20 scholarships awarded, 8 are from Ethiopia, 6 are from Kenya, and 6 are from Tanzania, with 30 percent of the total scholarships being awarded to females.
In a press statement, the Executive Secretary, IUCEA, Prof. Gaspard Banyankimbona, expressed gratitude to the People’s Republic of China and the World Bank for the financial support that has made the scholarship possible.
“I would like to thank the People’s Republic of China, through the Ministry of Education, and the World Bank for their financial support towards the EASTRIP China TVET Scholarship programme,” he said.
Banyankimbona stated that the scholarship supports the institution’s commitment to transforming the TVET systems in East Africa by building capacity of TVET faculty to enhance their skills and knowledge and improve the quality and relevance of TVET programmes.
“This will have a profound impact on reducing youth unemployment through practical hands-on skill development,” he added.
The selected candidates went through a rigorous multilevel selection process involving the college management, IUCEA, the China Scholarship Council, and Chinese universities.
To qualify for the EASTRIP-China TVET Scholarships, applicants needed to be employed and nominated by an institution that hosts EASTRIP Regional Flagship Technical Institutes (RFTIs), as demonstrated by a working bond agreement between the institution and the candidate.
They also had to apply for further studies in a field of study that is relevant to EASTRIP priority areas and further demonstrate academic excellence.
Among the six Kenyans who qualified for the scholarship programme are Mbuya, Felix Omondi from Kenya Coast National Polytechnic College to pursue MSc. Food Science and Engineering at Shanghai Ocean University, Karani Moses Mwenda from Meru National Polytechnic to pursue MSc. Building Environment and Equipment Engineering at Liaoning Technical University and Kennedy Victoria Banchiri from Meru National Polytechnic to pursue MSc. Urban and Rural Planning at Beijing Jiaotong University.
Others include Cassim Mariam Namukabo from Kisumu National Polytechnic College to pursue Masters in Arts and Design at Kenya Shihezi University, Ndwiga Beatrice Makena from Meru National Polytechnic to pursue MSc. Electrical Engineering at Nanjing Normal University and Omayio Erick Mbeka from Kisumu National Polytechnic College to pursue MSc. Mechanical Engineering at Chang’an University.
By Michael Omondi