Some 19 students received scholarships under Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund Scholarship Program. Among them, Enoc Hercules will pursue his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the National Chengchi University. Derek Alfred Davis will study for his masters in information systems and application at the National Tsing Hua University, and Amparito Teresita de Jesus Tun will study human resource development at the Graduate Institute of the National Taiwan Normal University.
Abbie Karenina Chulin and Miguel Manuel Sosa will study for their masters’ in Aquaculture technology and management at the National Taiwan Ocean University. Ryan Mathias Cadle will read for his Masters in environment and sustainable development at National Central University.
Romelia Roanna Logan, Sheena Gillian Young and Aida Marlene Rowland-Besong are off to the National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, where Logan and Yong will pursue their Bachelors in Nursing Administration, while Besong will study for her Masters in Nursing. Shawn Shermaine Gonzales will study for her Masters in Health Care administration at Taipei Medical University.
Jeffy Virgilio Gomez will study for his masters in agricultural economics at the National Taiwan University, while Donisio Shol will pursue his B.Sc. in tropical agriculture at the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, and Cindy Karen Jones and Robin Schaffer will study journalism and mass communications at the Ming Chua University, where Mayra Leiva will also study International trade and management.
Leia Taylor Auil, Alexandria Marie Hertular, Xux Ekí Azucena Novelo and Bernabe Isai Matus will all study towards a bachelors in mechanical engineering at Kun Shan University.
While students under the I.C.D.F. program receive instruction in English, two other Belizeans have been awarded under the Taiwan Scholarship Program 2012: Ever Romel Rosalez and Otoniel Adolfo Riverol will attend universities of their choice; Rosalez has been admitted for a Ph.D. program at the National Taipei University of Education while Riverol will pursue his Bachelor’s degree as the National Cheng Kung University. Since the instruction at these universities is in Mandarin, they are offered the opportunity to study the Mandarin language for an extra year to improve their language abilities, before studying in their chosen discipline.
In his keynote address at the award ceremony, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington did much to emphasize the great value of the scholarships, which the Republic of China is so generously affording to these young Belizeans. Each four-year scholarship is valued at about US$60,000, so the 21 scholarships are worth well over a million dollars, a tremendous investment in the future growth and prosperity of Belize. Elrington recalled his own academic experiences, and how difficult it was for him to gather the funds to pay for his first year of tuition at the University of the West Indies, where his academic achievement later earned him a scholarship to complete his studies.
He urged the students to make the most of their time in Taiwan, not only to master their academic discipline but also to get out of their university dorms, get off campus and learn more about Taiwan’s people, history and culture, and what has made them prosper. He emphasized the importance that this latest cadre of scholarship recipients return home upon completion of their studies to help build that same prosperity in Belize
Chief Executive officer David Leacock of the Ministry of Education, standing in for Education minister Patrick Faber who could not be present, echoed many of these sentiments when he addressed the students
Ambassador Wu cited the emphasis which the Taiwanese, through their Chinese psyche and cultural values, place on education and how it has been the engine of growth for the Taiwanese economy, propelling Taiwan from being a poor nation in the aftermath of World War II to being one of the richest industrial economies in the world today.
To date some 206 Belizeans have received scholarships to study in Taiwan. There are presently about 100 Belizean students pursuing their degree programs in Taiwan in various fields such as public health, agriculture, business administration, engineering and information and communication technology.
Another eighty have completed their studies and returned home to develop Belize. Most of them now serve Belizean society in government and public institutions such as hospitals and schools, and the private sector. A few of these I.C.D.F. alumni were also present at Saturday’s orientation ceremony where they reminded the students that they were not simply ambassadors of Belize to Taiwan, they would also be guests in Taiwan and should make every effort to be on the most exemplary behaviour during their entire time abroad, to also share Belizean culture, history, music and folklore with their Taiwanese hosts.