Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education, has explained that the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) provides scholarship opportunities to students who want to further their education both within and outside the country among its varied responsibilities.
He said the selection criteria for the scholarships were based on thematic areas such as being brilliant but needy students, performance through class award of a degree, relevance of programme to national development, cost implications and gender.
The Minister said these in response to a question posed on the floor of Parliament by Dr Ziblim Iddi, Member of Parliament for Gushegu who wanted to know the criteria used by the GETFund Board in awarding academic scholarships to applicants.
Dr Prempeh explained further that in awarding scholarships to the needy but brilliant students, there was a form that was used in conducting a need assessment to enable the GETFund to identify needy but brilliant applicants.
With regards to performance based applicants, he said those who obtained First Class or Second Class (Upper Division) were given priority for foreign scholarships, adding that the relevance of a programme to national development that were not offered in Ghana but was essential to the growth of the Ghanaian economy were also considered under the scholarship scheme.
He said the cost implications would take into consideration, the tuition fees per academic year and the number of years to be spent on the programme, and said that the lesser the amount and the number of years, the higher could be the chances of the applicant in receiving the sponsorship.
Mr Prempeh explained that under the gender programme, priority was given to female applicants who had extremely excelled in their area of study.
He said during the selection process, Science, Technical, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) applicants were given 70 per cent of the sponsorship awarded, saying “above criteria will be used for both local and foreign scholarships.”
The Minister said the rest of the 30 per cent was dedicated to the Humanities programme with no scholarships currently being awarded to foreign postgraduate courses except foreign first degree programmes in medical sciences.
He said criteria for capacity building and other sponsorships were determined by the Education Committee and approved by the Board.
BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI