A record 33 Vincentians have been granted scholarships by Taiwan to pursue university education at all levels in the Asian ally.
“With great pride and joy, I stand in front of you to witness the remarkable growth of Taiwan scholarship programme,” Fiona Fan, Taiwan ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) said at the presentation ceremony, her first official function since beginning her tour of duty last month.
“With St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ government’s support, I am happy to announce that this year, we reached a record high of 33 recipients of exceptional individuals and there have been 269 students from SVG studying in Taiwan over the decades,” Fan said.
She said the mission of the scholarship is two-fold: to facilitate academic growth and to cultivate the bilateral exchange and friendship between the nations.
The diplomat encouraged the students to return to SVG on completion of their studies, bringing with them the knowledge and skills acquired and positively participating in national development.
“We have every faith in your ability to impact your community and bring a brighter and most prosperous world. As you embark on your exciting educational journey, I wish you every success. May your time in Taiwan be filled with academic excellence, personal growth and unforgettable experiences,” Fan said.
“Do explore all the wonders that my country has to offer and remember you are the ambassador of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and of the future. Through your success, we will strengthen our bilateral relationship. Last but not least, I thank you for choosing Taiwan as your educational destination.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Prime Minister of SVG, Ralph Gonsalves said he advocated for university scholarship when he first visited Taiwan as prime minister in May 2001, two months after coming to office.
In 2004, Taiwan offered six scholarships to Vincentian students and since then the number has grown to 33 this year.
He said the value of the scholarships are about EC$200,000 each or about EC$6.6 million for the 2023 batch and over EC$50 million for the 269 scholarships the country has received.