The Organization of American States (OAS) and the government of Mexico today announced the launch of the 2015 edition of its scholarship program for post-graduate studies, under the agreement signed in 2012 by the hemispheric institution, the Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT) and the Mexican Agency for Development Cooperation (AMEXCID).
At that time, the institutions undertook to grant, over five years, 500 postgraduate scholarships to students from throughout the region, a figure that was increased last year to 800. The scholarships guarantee fellows room and board, health insurance, substantive tuition discounts and the possibility of research stays in their home countries. Altogether, 392 of these scholarships have already been awarded, of which in 2014, 72 were for doctoral studies, 191 for master´s and nine for specialties. The scholarships cover areas such as engineering (which received the largest number of scholarships); physics-mathematics and earth sciences; biology and chemistry; medicine and health sciences.
The OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, stressed the importance of the momentum that the OAS Scholarship Program has received over the last decade. "The launch by our scholarship program, in a very ambitious policy, of an initiative of partnerships for education and training, has allowed us to move from 400 scholarships per year in 2005 to more than 1,400 this year," he said. "Three quarters of the OAS scholarship grants come from the contribution of our institutional partners. And I must recognize that the main grants come from two countries in Latin America, Mexico and Brazil. This has meant an estimated increase in the resources of our Organization for scholarships of $ 60 million," added the chief representative of the hemispheric Organization during a ceremony at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC.
Secretary General Insulza recalled that, throughout its history, the OAS has awarded over 110,000 scholarships to students across the Hemisphere. He also urged member countries not participating in the program to get involved in this initiative. "I would like to appeal once again to member countries to spread the word about our scholarship program, but at the same time I also want to call those who do not contribute to do so," he added.
For his part, the Permanent Representative of Mexico to the OAS, Emilio Rabasa, quoted the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, in highlighting the importance of scholarship programs. "International experience shows that investing in science and technology, and innovation and development, is a sure path to sustained long-term economic growth," he said.
The Mexican diplomat pledged his country's commitment to cooperate with the region in this area and noted that twenty countries in the region benefit from the initiative. "The CONACYT-OAS-AMEXCID Scholarship Program is a clear example of the will of my country to strengthen cooperative ties with the Americas," he said. He added that "CONACYT is and has been a fundamental partner in promoting, in coordination with the OAS and its counterparts in the region, coordination in science and technology."
Meanwhile, the Deputy Director of CONACYT, Dolores Sánchez Soler, highlighted the possibility that the project could be renewed after five years. "The program has offered 800 scholarships to be distributed over a period of five years with the possibility of being renewed by agreement of the parties," she recalled. Deputy Director Sánchez Soler said the initiative offers scholarships in Spanish and English.Click Here to Learn More