Ministry of Education, Guyana

Friday, 04 October 2019 10:05

PhD, masters’ scholarships for 12 Guyanese academics

Twelve Guyanese academics will, over the next five years, benefit from a $781. 6M Advance Academic Research Programme in Sustainable Transformation scholarship aimed at boosting training and research in Guyana.

The four PhDs and eight masters students will attend Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, to expand their knowledge in five disciplines.

With funding from the Canadian Oil and Gas companies (CGX) and Frontera Energy Corp (FEC), the academics are expected to become the pivotal trainers of the next generation of highly skilled Guyanese required to truly transform the country into a robust sustainable economy.

At the launching ceremony on Thursday at the University of Guyana’s Education Lecture Theater (ELT), Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Philanthropy, Alumni and Civic Engagement (PACE), and chair of the Transitional Management Committee, Dr. Paloma Mohamed, said the project will open new doors for the country’s premier tertiary institution.
“It is going to pay for funding; it is going to pay for publication and travel; It is going to pay for accommodation and tuition for over five years. A very important aspect of this, which is important to UG at this moment during our transformational process, is that CGX and Trent will also lend technical support to the university in the areas of strengthening our financial, HR and security systems,” Dr Mohamed said.

A UG press statement stated that with the advent of significant commercial petroleum discoveries offshore Guyana since 2015, Guyana’s reserves of petroleum are currently estimated to be higher than six billion barrels of oil equivalent, with exploration increasing at an exponential rate.

“The country is, therefore, poised for massive economic growth but faces a serious challenge with respect to absorptivity for this growth among the local population and in the non-petroleum sectors. CGX and its partner, FEC, have responded to this need with this transformative programme and have engaged with partners, the University of Guyana and Trent University to address major national deficits in training and research related to the development of the sustainable sectors of the Guyanese economy as part of their CSR programmes in Guyana,” the statement outlined.

The programme is targeted at addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as they apply to Guyana. As such, during the five years, the academics will be exposed to training and research in programmes focused on areas such as watershed ecosystems and water quality, sustainable food and agriculture, indigenous studies, natural products, materials, physics and chemistry.

Manager, Research partnerships, of Trent University’s Office of Innovation, John Knight, said the collaboration is a “strategic partnership with a purpose”.

Present at the event were Director of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe; representatives of the Canadian High Commission, CGX officials and Vice President of Operations Development, Frontera Energy Incorporated, Duncan Nightingale; and Trent University Professor, Dr. Suresh Narine.

Dr. Bynoe commended CGX Energy, Frontera Energy Corp (FEC), the University of Guyana (UG) and Trent University for a collaborative effort which will see CDN$5M scholarship opportunity being offered to 12 qualified UG students.

“While we do not expect this contribution to the University of Guyana to eliminate all the structural and institutional challenges the institution faces, it is expected to contribute in a significant way towards building human and technical capacities for the evolving Guyana… Investing in the University is one of the best ways to contribute to our society and its people. This is an investment in the future of Guyana, with the benefits from these initiatives being long-lasting,” Dr. Bynoe said in his address at the launch of the programme titled ‘Advanced Academic and Research Programme in Sustainable Transformation for Guyana’.


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