PICTORIAL: European Union flags off Erasmus scholarship award winners

Ugandan students abroad have been asked to always transfer skills, knowledge and experience back home after studies for the development of the country.

KAMPALA – A group of 19 young Ugandan students who were awarded scholarships by the European Union under the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degrees have been flagged to go to different universities across Europe to pursue their studies in master’s degrees in different fields.

The state minister for primary education, Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, and the European Union ambassador in Uganda, Jan Sadek on Thursday presided over a special send-off held at the EU ambassador’s residence in Kololo.

The 15 students include Jenipher Alum, Atabua Arthur, Jugu Patrick Ezra, Tayebwa Annah, Namakula Lucy, Ogwang Benjamin Peter, Mbalire Frank, Hussein Rashid, and Nankya Priscilla Julie.

Others are Buteme Grace Manana, Sengooba Aloysious, Ariokot Racheal, and Diima Allan.

Each of the students is going to study their master’s degree from at least two different universities located in different European countries such as Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Sweden for a specified period of time before returning to Uganda.

While the majority of the students will study in the EU, 2 awardees will be hosted by Serbia and Turkey, the European Union ambassador in Uganda, Jan Sadek said at a flagging-off event held at his residence in Kololo on Thursday afternoon.

“With the Erasmus+ programme, the EU provides through a competitive process the opportunity this year to 19 Ugandan students to continue their higher education in Europe and in partner countries. 15 of them will receive a direct scholarship from the EU,” Mr. Sadek announced.

He congratulated the students for their great achievement and said that one of the key aspects of the Erasmus programme of students living in one or more European countries is for them to engage with young Europeans, experience diverse cultures, and to enjoy European diversity.

European Union ambassador in Uganda, Jan Sadek

He, therefore, asked the awardees to be ambassadors of Uganda in Europe and to make a difference for Uganda in her development agenda by innovating, solving problems, fighting corruption, addressing issues that affect Ugandans, and overall fully contributing to Uganda’s development when they come back after completing their studies.

Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the Ugandan State Minister for Primary Education urged the scholars to always carry the Ugandan flag high during their stay in Europe.

“Carry the country’s flag high. Always be ready to learn more but above all, when you complete your studies, remember where you came from. It is fine to get a greener pasture but it is also cheating for you to have your capacity built and not to bring it back home to share with others the knowledge, skills and experience,” the Minister said.

“We are demanding determination and hard work from you. Be focused on whatever you are going to do. Be disciplined and humble. The knowledge and skills you are going to achieve is what we will all be waiting for back home,” she said hailing the European Union for its unwavering support to Uganda in many fields, including education which she said helps in the human capital development of the country.

“I must thank the European Union and its member states for the cordial relations with Uganda. It is beyond collaboration and partnership but friendship. Investing in our education sector is a good gesture to help in the human capital development of the country. This will empower the country socially, economically and in all spheres,” Dr. Kaducu said.

Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree is a European Union education programme that aims at enhancing quality in higher education through scholarships and academic cooperation between the European Union and the rest of the world.

To be eligible for the scholarship, you must have obtained an education degree first, not be a resident of the 27 EU member states, and should not have carried out any activities like private visits, studies, work, or tourism in these countries for the last 12 months.

The scholarship covers participation costs including tuition, library and laboratory fees, full insurance coverage, travel and installation costs, a monthly subsistence allowance for the entire duration of the study programme, and any other mandatory costs related to participation in the master’s degree.

So far, a total of 139 Ugandans have been sponsored by the European Union and its member states to pursue their studies in Europe since 2014 under Erasmus Mundus I, Erasmus Mundus II and Erasmus.

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