The Selangor government is offering scholarships for selected residents to pursue doctorate courses at renowned universities abroad even as Putrajaya slashes its education budget amid an austerity drive.
The scholarship, under the state government’s special “Selangor Brain Bank” programme, was announced by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali on his Facebook page.
The special programme requires applicants to have their research proposals accepted by their respective universities of choice, and also for the proposal of their choice to “contribute to Selangor’s development.”
The main 11 fields of research as listed under the state’s “#SmartSelangor” programme ranges from governance and housing to education.
Another 10 related fields of research are also accepted — including culture, manufacturing and Islamic affairs.
The universities chosen by the applicants have to be listed as among the top 50 universities in respective fields of study — going by the Ranking by Subject in the 2015 Times Higher Education or the QS World University Ranking.
Applicants are also required not to be more than 40 years old at the time of starting their respective courses.
The scholarship is open for both civil servants in Selangor and the public — but both must have served either in the Selangor civil service or in private firms for five years at the very least.
Civil servants are required to to submit applications via respective department heads while private workers are required to obtain release letters from their employers.
Selected applicants will be called in for an interview.
The closing date for applications is on January 31.
The scholarship funds come from the Selangor Consolidated Scholarship Fund Board, which had also financed other scholarship offers in the state before.
Last year, the fund, under the “Selangorku” special programme, sponsored 110 Selangor students from poor backgrounds to pursue higher education at Universiti Selangor (Unisel) and Selangor Islamic International University College (KUIS).
Applications for the Selangorku programme are also open until January 16.
The application forms for both scholarship offers are available on the fund’s website (click here to be directed to the form).
So while Putrajaya slashed scholarships last year under the Public Services Department during the 2016 budget revisions and the Higher Education Ministry's overall budget getting a 29% cut, the Selangor State government is stepping up in doing what a proper government is doing, by providing the right tool to encourage education to grow in the state.
Definitely feeling proud to be a Selangor boy. Now, the next question is, do I have the energy in my 40 year old body to get back to the education trail?