Sun | Nov 18, 2018

More Jamaicans heading to South Korea for educational opportunities

Published:Monday | August 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Young Gyu Lee

Two more Jamaican students will depart for South Korea as part of that country's scholarship programme, joining several others already studying in the East Asian nation.

Shaneika Marie Lee and Petrona Laing have been invited this year to the master's degree scholarship programme of the government of the Republic of Korea.

Lee is set to pursue a master's degree in global ICT policy at the Pusan National University under support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and will depart later today.

Laing is scheduled to leave at the end of the month for Keimyung University, where she will study for her master's degree in theology as part of the National Institute for International Education of Korea (NIIED) study programme.

Up to 2017, some 32 Jamaicans had participated in master's and doctoral degrees programmes in Korea, sponsored by KOICA and NIIED.

Young Gyu Lee, the South Korean chargÈ d'affairs to Jamaica, said that he was proud that Jamaicans were seeking scholarships to his country as it signalled the strengthening bond that Jamaica and his country shared and showed Korea's role in helping to educate willing Jamaicans.

"Education has been a driving force for Korea's economic growth. The emphasis on education has produced good-quality human resources, which, in turn, have been playing a huge role in attaining economic development," he said.

"It is our hope that Jamaicans who go to Korea will achieve their goals, come back home, and make a mark to help steer the country towards greater economic and social improvements," Young added.

The two distinct programmes are designed to share Korea's experiences in relevant fields and to strengthen partnerships with young and promising Jamaicans.

KOICA and NIIED will give full scholarship for tuition, a round-trip air ticket, accommodation, living allowances, and other benefits, to the above students during their stay in Korea.

"With a mission to nurture talented people from developing countries, the Korean government invites high-calibre youths from developing countries and helps them gain professional and systematic knowledge that will pay a key role in their home country's development," said Young.

"In particular, this scholarship programme has significantly strengthened the relationships between Korea and Jamaica. It is our hope to keep it going for the benefit of both countries," he said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com