Fewer scholarships for overseas study

National 1 minute, 16 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE government will offer 50 scholarships for students to pursue their studies abroad this year, a marked decrease from over 100 awarded annually in the past.

Minister of Education Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman said the reduced number of government scholarships came following a review of the eligibility criteria prompted by the economic downturn.

“We are trying to adjust. I think this is a good time to adjust as well when the economy is a little bit tight,” said the education minister in a recent interview.

Of the total $726.65 million budget allocated to the Ministry of Education for the current fiscal year, $35.2 million was earmarked for scholarships in 2016/2017, a decline of 11 per cent from $39.6 million in the previous fiscal year.

“We are now also reviewing the courses the students are pursuing, because we know that students who have come back are looking for employment,” said YB Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi.

He explained that scholarships for the upcoming academic year will be awarded in two phases through the Higher Education Centralised Admission System (HECAS), an online application used to process the scholarships.

“We still give scholarships and if necessary we’ll increase it, but this is according to present demand,” he said.

With scholarships on the decline, YB Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi said the ministry saw rising demand for education loans provided by the government for students to pursue their studies abroad. However, he added the list of eligible courses will also be reviewed.

The Brunei Times