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Somaliland: UWC Avails 4 Full Scholarships for an IB Diploma E-mail
Monday, 13 January 2014 15:20

Somalilandsun – Four "O" level students are to study in one of the 14 worldwide colleges affiliated to the United World Colleges (UWCs) which has provided full scholarships that cover the two years duration it takes to attain an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.

This revelation follows an interview with the Somaliland Minister of Education Zamzam Abdi and President of the United World College Selection Committee for Somaliland, Jonathan Starr who is the founder of world renowned Abarso Tech in Somaliland.

In order to ensure integrity and only the impartial selection of qualified students from all areas nationwide a committee consisting of 8 excellent individuals, 1 from each of the 6 regions plus 2 non-Somalis has been composed to undertake the process.

Below are the full excerpts of the Interview

Jonathan, tell us a bit about the United World Colleges.

The United World Colleges (UWCs) are a collection of 14 related 2-year colleges around the world that offer the well-respected International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. UWC is connected to the Davis Foundation, which provides scholarship funds for UWC graduates to attend great universities, including the most famous universities in America. While the UWC graduate still must apply and be accepted to these universities, their chances of gaining admissions are greater due to the respect given to UWC graduates, and to universities being more willing to accept students who are coming with this Davis Foundation funding. Far more information is available at the website – www.uwc.org

Madam Minister, please tell us how Somaliland students will benefit from this opportunity.

Jonathan StarrJonathan StarrI am extremely pleased that Somaliland students will have 4 full scholarships this year to gain their International Baccalaureate at world-renowned 2-year colleges. If our students excel then they can easily leverage this to 4 more years of university study in the US. This is a wonderful opportunity for Somaliland secondary school students.

Madam Minister, how did this opportunity come about and what is the role of the Ministry of Education?

Jonathan developed the initial connection to UWC over the past year. When it reached the point of being official, he brought it to me and I immediately put the Ministry of Education's support behind this great initiative. In the time since we've developed an independent selection committee comprised of some of the most well respected people in the country.

Jonathan, which students will be eligible to apply?

Following the guidelines of the United World Colleges, this opportunity is limited to Somaliland secondary school students who were born between 10 January 1996 and 10 January 1998. Students proving they meet these criteria are eligible to apply.Education minister Ms Zamzam Abdi termed the scholarships as a blessingEducation minister Ms Zamzam Abdi termed the scholarships as a blessing

Madam Minister, what can you tell us about the committee that selects the students?

The committee consists of 8 members, 1 from each of the 6 regions plus 2 non-Somalis. This will help us spread word in all the regions while also keeping fairness. With excellent individuals such as the ones listed here, this committee has been designed to assure integrity and success.

Abdi Hassan Gaas – Maroodi Jeex

Abdisalan Yasin Mohamed - Toghdeer

Ahmed Hassan Ali – Sool (Treasurer)

Layla Omer Kahin - Awdal

Jonathan Starr – Independent (President)

Saad Haji Ali Shire - Saxiil

Sadia Musa Ahmed - Sanaag (Vice President)

Thomas Kraemer – Independent (Secretary)

Jonathan, as you are from Abaarso School, are you worried people will say that Abaarso students have been favored?

Since I have worked in Somaliland for 5-years without receiving any financial compensation, I hope people are starting to understand that I'm just looking for what is best for the children. People will always assume bad things, but we have setup this committee to make sure that there are no biases at all. In fact, even though I am the one who brought this opportunity to Somaliland, I am not going to have any vote in the selection process. In addition, the Somaliland people should assume that the excellent people who are on the committee would not allow any favoritism. I expect Abaarso students to be competitive because Abaarso students are strong, but Abaarso students will have no unfair advantages or disadvantages vs. other students. We will run a fair process which could yield 0 Abaarso students or all 4.

How do students apply for this opportunity and is there any cost?

To apply students need to first go to http://www.uwc.org/how_to_apply/find_your_national_committee/somalia/somaliland.aspx where they can download the application and fill it out electronically. This is just our way of getting your information so we can contact you about the next steps. At the end of January an examination will be held for all students who properly filled out the form. To take part in this examination there will be a $20 fee. Following the examination the top 15 scorers will be brought in for essays that will be judged by the committee so as to reach 8 finalists. The 8 finalists will then be interviewed by the selection committee.

 Selection committee memebers L-R Prof Gaas Sadia Musee Starr Dr Saad Ali and Prof Abdisalam YassinSelection committee memebers L-R Prof Gaas Sadia Musee Starr Dr Saad Ali and Prof Abdisalam Yassin

So the next step for interested students will be to go to the Somaliland section of the UWC website - http://www.uwc.org /how_to_apply/find_your_national_committee/somalia/somaliland.aspx  - and download the application?

Yes, they should download the application, fill it out properly, and email it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We must receive all applications by 25 January, so students will have approximately 2 weeks to get this done. After 25 January it will be too late to submit.

Madam Minister, do you have any last words?

I want all our top Somaliland students to know that this is a great opportunity for them to get a top international education. Becoming Somaliland's first ambassadors to the United World Colleges is both a great honor and a great responsibility. I look forward to meeting those students who get selected to represent our country.

 

Comments

 
+1 # Kariye 2014-01-13 17:37
I have grat faith in this committee, and I am sure that deserving students will be the ones to benefit. Unfortunately previous scholarships have been subject to some nepotism. It was a shame, but, I am certain that future scholarships will be granted on academic achievements and not on personal relationships. After each and very Somaliland student is our son or daughter
 
 
0 # Kariye 2014-01-13 17:39
Rather great faith, those keyboards are impossible.
 
 
+1 # Ali Bare 2014-01-15 14:47
Recently i meet several students from Abarso who received scholarship to several middle schools and high Schools.I Found them to be smart and hardworking but unfortunately what i found out was that they were all from hargeisa area and one only from the eastern region (Burco.

Non whatsoever from from the other regions. I don't know how this happened and i am not blaming anyone here but please lets be fair to all of the kids equally.
Nepotism and favoritism was one of the causes the masses raised against the fagash and over threw that government.
 

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