Each year the Dutch government grants scholarships to Rwandan students for studies in the Netherlands. The “class of 2017” was waved goodbye during a lively farewell dinner last week.
Last Wednesday the 30th of August, around30 Rwandan young professionals gathered for a lively farewell dinner at the residence of Mr Pieter Dorst, Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Kingdom of Netherlands in Kigali. The dinner was held to give them a formal send-off for their departure to the Netherlands, as they were granted a scholarship from the Dutch government. Each scholar will be studying for about a year at one of the leading academic institutes in the Netherlands.
In his farewell speech Mr Dorst addressed the responsibility they have to acquire important skills which will help Rwanda’s development. He said, “These are the students selected among many others from countries all over the world due to their performance. We advise them to study hard because it is not about leisure but they have an important task. They should remember that they are going to represent their country”.
The Head of Scholarship Department at the Rwanda Education Board, Mr Desire Gacinya confirmed this and asked the students to create strong networks while in The Netherlands, be good Rwandan ambassadors and keep up Rwandan values when there.
Each year the so-called NFP program of the Dutch government offers fellowships to Rwandan professionals for studies in the Netherlands. Though there’s no strict number of scholarships available for Rwanda, experience shows that 30 to 35Rwandan young professionals are able to obtain the grant. The Embassy emphasizes that there’s room for more, depending on the quality of the application. That’s why Mr Dorst and Mr Gacinya urged future applicants to get prepared in advance by striving to excel in their undergraduate studies because the scholarships are awarded to best performers only.
The chairman of the NFP Alumni Mr. Alfred Byigiro gave a brief speech on how he benefited from the program. He advised the 2017 NFP awardees to make this a learning experience but also to come back home and share the skills learnt and contribute to the country’s growth.
During the ceremony, the students were also shown a movie about the do’s and don’ts during their stay in the Netherlands.
About the NFP program
The Netherlands Fellowship Program (NFP) aims to help reduce the shortage of skilled workers in countries like Rwanda. The NFP individual fellowships are available for specific Short courses, Master’s degree programs and Phd studies at participating Dutch Universities.NFP fellowships are awarded to highly motivated professionals and candidates have to be nominated by their employers. After completing their training the fellows return to their original workplace. This ensures the training is embedded within the employing organization.
Candidates improve their knowledge and skills, learn about relevant global developments in their field and build an international network. The result is twofold: the employing organization has directly invested in staff development and the professional has gained a valuable asset for their further career.
Eligible courses can be found in the study programs database at: www.studyfinder.nl. Please note that every institution might have a different procedure/requirements and deadlines so it’s very important to already start checking the university you want to consider, ahead of time and prepare all the necessary requirements.To be eligible for the NFP program you must have received admission from a Dutch higher education institution that offer NFP qualified programs/courses and Fellowship application deadlines are determined by the Dutch institutions.
- Mr Pieter Dorst, Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Kingdom of Netherlands in Kigali.