More young promising Liberians will soon join twenty two others studying at top universities in China, Kenya, Ghana, and Australia, as beneficiaries of ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Advanced Academic Studies Scholarship Programme. The company kicks off its fourth cycle of applications and awards this week, the programme which was launched in mid-2013 as a deliverable of the Mineral Development Agreement signed with the Liberian government, now boasts four graduates to date with post-graduate degrees in fields from procurement to engineering.
Marcus Wleh, head of corporate responsibility at ArcelorMittal Liberia, said: “The programme supports highly qualified young Liberians in obtaining advanced academic degrees from accredited academic institutions of higher learning in fields related to the sciences, including mining.”
This year’s applicants will have a choice of five highly respected universities around the continent, Marcus said, including University of Nairobi (Kenya), University of Mines and Technology (Tarkwa, Ghana), North West University (South Africa), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Kumasi, Ghana) and Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda).
Initially awarding only post graduate scholarships, in 2014 the programme expanded its support to undergraduate students. Today bachelors, masters, MDs and PHDs in engineering, mining, civil, electrical, mechanical, chemical engineering, architecture, computer engineering, geology, and medicine make up the spectrum from which students can choose their potential degrees.
The transparency in the process has been applauded by beneficiaries of the programme. Albert Luogon, an MBA, procurement and logistics management graduate who studied at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, called his experience “wonderful and challenging,” stating that he took up the challenge to apply and was confident in himself.
“I graduated in August and got the information in September. I had no contact. If I tell people I did not give money, it’s hard for them to believe. It requires perseverance,’’ said Samuel Nyema, an M.Sc, procurement and logistics graduate from Jomo Kenyatta University of Science & Technology. “Don’t let opportunities pass you by”.
Who can apply?
According to Eric Swen, who manages the Advanced Academic Scholarship Programme for ArcelorMittal Liberia, any Liberian currently residing in Liberia who holds a high school or college degree, with a minimum average of B can apply.
The process, said Swen, is a simple one. “Apply to your university of choice from the list of eligible universities. Pick up an application form, complete it and submit the application with an official letter of full or provisional acceptance from the university or college; a photocopy of your transcripts (in colour) from your previous school, college, or university; two recent passport-size photos; a one-page Letter of Intent detailing your career interests and plan to contribute to the development of Liberia; proof of Liberian citizenship; and three letters of reference from non-relatives, highlighting why you are suitable for the scholarship.
Deadline for application is 31 May, 2016 and completed packages can be dropped off at the Ministry of Education on 3rd Street, or ArcelorMittal Advanced Studies Scholarship Program in the Linsay Building in Clara Town. For more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.