The Government of Trinidad and Tobago announces the award of 268 National Bursaries. In November 2020, Cabinet took a decision to make available 500 National Bursaries to students who are citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and would have sat CAPE over a period of two (2) consecutive years in Form 6, including the year of award. In addition to the 100 scholarships already awarded to the CAPE 2020 cohort, this brought the total number of students eligible for support at the Undergraduate level to 600 from 2020 onwards, as opposed to 400 as previously obtained. It also allowed for greater equity in distribution of precious resources which will focus the assistance where it is most required.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
The application form for the National Bursary was available from Monday 15th March, 2021 to April 12th, 2021. The approved National Bursary Policy, the National Bursary Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) as well as Guidelines and Procedures for the Award of the National Bursary were also made available for ease of reference to potential applicants.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NATIONAL BURSARIES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
- A candidate must be a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and must be able to provide proof of citizenship.
- A candidate must attain at least eight units at Grades I – II, over a period not exceeding two consecutive years in Form 6, including the year of the award.
- The eight (8) Units must comprise both compulsory subjects Caribbean Studies and Communication Studies and three (3) subjects at both Units I and II.
- A candidate must provide a Letter of Acceptance to an accredited/recognized local tertiary level institution or a regional campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), in keeping with the guidelines of the GATE programme.
FURTHER CRITERIA FOR THE AWARD OF A NATIONAL BURSARY INCLUDE:
- Need as evidenced by a GATE Administered Means Test
- Intended course of study should be in alignment with priority areas of development
- Extracurricular activities/contribution to community/country
- Purpose Statement
The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago will pay for and provide to all awardees of the National Bursary: –
- Medical Scholars – A book allowance of $9,711 as first time payment and thereafter $5,711 payment annually.
- Non-medical Scholars – A book allowance of $8,062 as first time payment and thereafter $4,062 payment annually.
- All Scholars:
- A personal maintenance allowance of $3,043.00 per month, payable per quarter of the fiscal year (December, March, June and September).
- 100 % tuition funding in accordance with GATE guidelines.
The total annual expenditure for the 268 Bursary Awardees in fiscal 2020 is estimated at $14,792,887.
The Scholarship and Advanced Training Division (SATD) received a total of two hundred and eighty-two (282) applications for the National Bursary. The SATD acting as Secretariat to the Scholarships Selection Committee (SSC) administered the Evaluation Framework for the purpose of determining whether the submitted applications met the eligibility criteria for the National Bursary. On completion of the preliminary assessment, two hundred and sixty-eight (268) applicants were found to be eligible. Fourteen (14) applicants were deemed ineligible as follows:
- Seven (7) applicants failed the Academic assessment because they did not meet the academic requirement.
- One (1) applicant fell outside of the (2) year CAPE catchment group (2018/2019 – 2019/2020).
- One (1) applicant provided a letter of acceptance to a US University.
- Five (5) applicants failed the National Bursary Means Test assessment.
The list of Bursary Awardees is available on the Ministry of Education’s website and Facebook page.
The National Bursary Application Process for students who wrote the CAPE exams in 2020, will re-open on Monday July 19th, 2021 to Monday 9th August, 2021. This now gives an opportunity to a further 232 students who fit the criteria but may not have made the deadline, to receive the assistance of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for their local or regional undergraduate studies.
Students are asked to visit the Ministry of Education’s website and Social Media pages for further information.