Education to strengthen Jamaica-China ties
Ten tuition-only scholarships valued at US$500,000 over a five-year period have been offered to Chinese nationals to pursue undergraduate studies in 13 disciplines at the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI).
Minister of Transport and Mining Mike Henry made the disclosure upon returning to the island last Wednesday from a weeklong trip to China.
Henry emphasised that education was one of the tools being used to strengthen ties with China, while adding that Jamaica is simply returning the favour, as China has extended government scholarships to hundreds of students across the Caribbean and Latin America.
Studies will range from logistics, supply-chain manage-ment, cyber security and digital forensics, to mechatronics (which combines technology electronics and mechanical engineering), and automation.
The first year of studies will see students undergoing a cultural and language fusion to learn the language and culture of Jamaica.
Henry expressed that CMI is internationally recognised with certifications and accreditations, some of which are authorised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Support was sought and received for Jamaica's candidature to the IMO council in November this year from Henry's ministerial counterpart, Dia Dongchang.
Henry stressed Jamaica's commitment to facilitate joint-venture developments between the two countries.
Executive director of the CMI, Dr Fritz Pinnock, described the move as fantastic.
"We want to create a greater multicultural environment and you cannot receive without giving. This is a part of our strategy for internationalisation of CMI. We're now offering Mandarin, so the more Chinese students in our schools, the more practice our students will get. We're looking to the Chinese market because we expect to see a significant per cent of our population in the future will be Chinese, so we're opening up that market."