#Nassau, August 20, 2018 – Bahamas – Dreams of university education will be realized for 546 high school graduates who are now recipients of the National Bursary Scholarship Award. On Thursday evening, August 16, deserving high school students from across The Bahamas were recipients of scholarships and other tuition assistance at the National Bursary Scholarship Award Ceremony at Melia Nassau Beach resort.
To qualify for a Bursary Award, applicants must have obtained a minimum of five Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education subject passes with a grade of “C” or above. Mathematics and English Language are compulsory. Students already in attendance at UB may obtain the Bursary Award by maintaining a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. They are required to take a minimum of 15 credits (5 courses) and maintain a 3.0 GPA every semester.
In his remarks, the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education, encouraged the recipients to be positive forces in the community. “Many are takers and not givers; this goes against the Biblical principal. Life is not about you, you are about life.”
Of the many scholarship applications received, many had to be declined. “It’s heartbreaking,” said Minister Lloyd. “Unfortunately, we are unable to do as much as we would like. The Government of the Bahamas is only able to budget $20 million in scholarships. It sounds like a lot, but it is unable to reach as many as we would like.
“The Government wants to make tertiary education available to our young people. If education is what it ought to be… then we ought to put our money where our mouth is and this government will do so.
“We have to do better. Next year at UB those who qualify will go to school free. The Bursary Award this year is going to cost the government $2.1 million and will be repeated every year until these beautiful lamps of light graduate,” he added.
Dr. Rodney Smith, President, University of The Bahamas, thanked Minister Lloyd and the team in the Scholarship and Education Loan Division for helping to make higher education more accessible to hundreds of deserving Bahamian students.
“Accessibility is a key goal for the university. We want as many as possible to be able attend our institution, and together with the Government of The Bahamas, [have] the ability to work towards increased numbers in our classrooms.”
President Smith remarked that since 2015, in addition to fundraising efforts, the University’s Summer Bridging Programme has played a great part in increasing accessibility to UB programs. He said UB is “assiduously” working on growing an endowment for first generation university students.
“A student who attends university and earns a degree positively impacts the lives of everyone in his immediate family and in the surrounding community,” said the President.
The 2018 National Bursary Scholars and the 2018 Outstanding Scholars were introduced and presented. Some students attained at least 8 BGCSE subject passes with ‘C’ grade or higher, some earned 5-7 or more BGCSE subject passes with ‘C’ grade or higher, some qualified for Financial Assistance having earned 5 or more BGCSE subject passes with ‘C’ grade or higher and some earned a 3.0 GPA or higher while pursuing full time studies at UB during the last academic year.
One hundred and nineteen of the students will be attending UB North in Grand Bahama.
By Kathryn Campbell