Erasmus Mundus Scholarship recipient urges others to look for int'l opportunitiesSunday, September 26, 2021
BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON
AFTER being the only Jamaican awarded the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship to pursue a joint master's degree across Europe this year, Shantelle Robinson is imploring others to embark on more international education opportunities.
“It feels amazing. However, I believe that when more persons recognise the value of studying internationally on a scholarship and get past the fear of rejection, we will celebrate much more grantees from Jamaica,” she told Career & Education.
“Millions of financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships go unused annually. These opportunities could assist many young people in Jamaica to gain free education. When these youngsters return to Jamaica, their skills will undoubtedly contribute to Jamaica's social and economic development,” Robinson added.
According to the European Union website, Erasmus Mundus joint masters are high-level integrated study programmes, where the cost of students' participation, travel, and living allowance are covered.
The courses run for at least one year and the awardees will complete two study periods, in a minimum of two European countries.
Robinson, a 24-year-old St Catherine native, will study work, organisational and personnel psychology at the Universitat de València in Spain.
“I became interested in that programme when working in an organisation that conducted national employee engagement studies — they measured how psychologically committed an employee is to their company,” she said, noting that she will further her studies in Portugal.
“A 2016 study done on Jamaica revealed that only 41.5 per cent of Jamaican workers are actively engaged on the job, and low engagement ratings are dominant in public sector institutions. This new knowledge sparked my interest in the field and led me to apply for this scholarship,” added Robinson.
Robinson is among seven Caribbean nationals included in the total of 2,756 awardees for the 2021/22 programme.
Other Caribbean nationals include awardees from The Bahamas such as Gaybrielle Smith who is studying marine environment at the University of Bordeaux, France; and Keno Ignace who is studying sustainable and innovative resource management at the University of Ghent, Belgium.
European Union Ambassador Marianne Van Steen expressed delight for the awardees selected this year.
“I'm very pleased that Shantelle Robinson of Jamaica as well as three young scholars from The Bahamas and Belize, other countries I'm accredited to, have been selected for the Erasmus programme this year,” said Steen.
“During my farewell courtesy call with them, they expressed how excited and energised they are about the prospects of meeting other young thinkers and doers from across the globe, sharpening their foreign language skills and learning more about themselves along the way. They are all pursuing programmes that will equip them with skills to find solutions to the ongoing and emerging challenges across the Caribbean and, indeed, the world. As an Erasmus alumna, I would like to see more students take advantage of the opportunity to advance their studies and become global citizens.”
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