$36 million granted annually for student scholarships abroad [Archives:2006/951/Local News]

June 1 2006

SANA'A, May 31 ) Official reports recently revealed that the number of students sent abroad to continue university and higher education studies has exceeded 5,300, with most learning theoretical subjects that could have been studied in Yemeni universities.

Ministry of Higher Education reports distributed to media last week and published by News Yemen web site this week indicated that 78 percent of those granted scholarships to study abroad obtain university degrees in theoretical studies, while 22 percent obtain advanced degrees (a master's or doctorate) in specializations no longer deserving to be studied abroad.

The reports also mentioned that government spending on scholarships is very heavy, amounting to more than $36 million annually, indicating that those sent to study abroad are sent to countries where universities are no better in standard than in Yemen.

A Ministry of Higher Education source pointed out that the scholarship granting process mostly is random and not based on scientific bases. The source added that scholarships are granted to those not deserving them, including mostly sons of senior officials and those with mediation and influence, and thus are allocated only for them.

Sources demanded concerned authorities reconsider the scholarship granting process and the specialties students are sent to study abroad, as well as fight corruption and trading with such scholarships, which consume billions in the state budget.