The just concluded Tullow Oil Group Scholarship Scheme applications that concluded on March 31st saw 8,000 applications from Kenya according to British Council who oversee the exercise.
This is about 1000 applications more than the process saw in the last exercise with just 30 applicants to join various UK universities.
The new round of scholarships that will see another 30 applicants successful will bring to total 90 students who will have to gone through the scheme a much needed boost to the country’s readiness for oil production according to British Council country director Tony Reilly.
“As the scholarship scheme continues we expect that we will have seen at least 150 students gone through the process by Tullow’s production target of 2017 so the timing is right. We are building and developing capacity for the country,” Reilly told OilNews Kenya.
The majority of scholarships per country will go to Ghana and Kenya according to British Council as was the case last year where the latter received almost a third of all 110 vacancies by the company.
The British Council says the preference in Kenyan students is driven by the huge capacity gap in the country as well the preference of students from Kenya by UK universities due to the quality of education in the country as well as their wonderful English.
Among the 30 successful applications 70 percent of all scholarships will go to students from the Turkana regions. Other beneficiaries will also be from areas the company is carrying out exploration works including Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and Kisumu.
“We have already secured more discounts from the various universities involved in the program which will ensure that more students benefit from the scheme. We are also adding an important component to the scheme where we are also providing career guidance and work placement to ensure that beneficiaries can access work when they return,” Rilley added.
In the 2014/15 scheme 110 students from 8 African countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Uganda) and South American countries (Uruguay,Suriname) at a cost of $6 million with awardees able to pursue a range of courses including engineering and technology, environment and geosciences, oil and gas economics, logistics supply chain as well as law and legal courses.