Young East African lecturers from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania Regional Flagship TVET Institutes (RFTIs) supported by the World Bank East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) have been awarded scholarships to upgrade their qualification in Science and Technology to support advancement of Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in East Africa.
The scholarships were awarded by the Chinese government, as part of the tripartite partnership between the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), the People’s Republic of China through the Ministry of Education, and the World Bank to promote excellence in TVET and facilitate regional integration in East Africa.
The programme which was signed in Beijing in November 2019, commenced in the 2020/2021 academic year, will offer over 100 scholarships to qualified young lecturers who are currently teaching in the RFTIs for the next five years to pursue master and PhD level study at top Universities and Technical Colleges in China.
The programme is intended to compliment the World Bank EASTRIP support but with laser focus on improving the much needed academic, technical, and pedagogical capacity of the faculty in the growing sectors of the economy including but not limited to Manufacturing, ICT, Energy, ICT, Agriculture, and Transport and to promote regional integration.
Candidates went through a rigorous multilevel selection process involving the college management, IUCEA, the China Scholarship Council, and Chinese universities. Among this year’s awardees, X are from Ethiopia, Y are from Kenya, and Z are from Tanzania, all going to top STEM universities in China including Tsinghua University and Zhejiang University.
The World Bank Task Team Leader, Dr. Xiaoyan Liang, said there is a critical shortage of qualified teachers and trainers in the TVET institutions in Africa and the scholarship is designed to fill some of the important gap. “It will produce a core cluster of highly qualified staff to design and deliver quality demand-driven training programmes and to transform the RFTIs into true flagship institutes. The scholarship will also help improve the image of TVET and enhance female enrolment in technology and engineering fields which is still low,” Dr. Liang said.
EASTRIP is currently supporting 16 Regional Flagship TVET institutes (RFTIs) in the region to improve access and quality of TVET programmes for economic transformation and regional integration.
The Scholarship is open to both male and female students from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania under the age of 35 years for Masters Programs and under the age of 40 years for doctoral programs. Out of the 20 selected candidates for the 2020/2021 academic year, 6 are females.
The 20 scholarships are available annually for five years, to support college students and teachers from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania to pursue relevant technical and engineering master’s or Ph.D. degrees in top Chinese universities and technical colleges.