Scholarships limited, changes made to GATE

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    Government is moving to limit the number of scholarships and bursaries being offered to students.

    Changes have been made to the GATE programme, including the discontinuation of funding for post-graduate students.

    At a media conference this morning, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly first announced that no more than 100 National Scholarships will be awarded annually.

    500 National Bursaries will also be awarded to local students who would have sat CAPE over two consecutive years in Form 6.

    Post-graduate GATE meanwhile has been cut, and there will be mandatory means testing.

    The categories for GATE have also been revised, and will see no funding for households where the income is above $75,000 per month.

    They will now be as follows:

    • where the household income is below $10,000 per month, students will be eligible for 100% GATE funding for tuition fees
    • where the household income is above $10,000 per month but less than $30,000 per month, students will be eligible for 75% GATE funding for tuition fees
    • where the household income is above $30,000 per month but less than $75,000 per month, students will be eligible for 50% GATE funding for tuition fees
    • where the household income is above $75,000 per month, students will be ineligible for GATE funding

    Students currently enrolled in postgraduate programmes will receive GATE funding until August 2021, while undergraduate students will continue to be funded for the normal duration of their programme.

    Minister Gadsby-Dolly says the move is part of efforts to cope with challenging financial circumstances.

    According to her, the number of Island Scholarships offered over the years increased from five to ten in the 1960’s and 1970’s, to 20 in the 1980’s; and by the year 2008, that number progressed to 261, reaching a maximum of 447 in 2014, then settling at 400 annually from 2016 to 2019.

    She adds that on average, an Open Medical Scholarship costs $600,000 per year for five years, an Open non-medical costs $450,000 per year for 3-4 years, and an additional scholarship costs about $225,000 for 3 years.

    The Ministry says during the period 2008 – 2019, over 1,586 National Scholarships have been awarded, at a cost of approximately$TT800 Million.