The government of South Korea through their development arm in Uganda Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has announced a $500,000 approximately (about Shs1.7b) education sponsorship budget for 100 Ugandans to study in South Korean universities next year, up from $ 400,000 (about Shs 1.4b).
“Next year, we are sponsoring three types of categories; from master’s degree level where 10 students will benefit, degree and short courses where 100 students will benefit up from 80 last year,” said Mr Kwon Oh-Inn, KOICA Uganda deputy country director during the annual general assembly of Koica Club of Uganda (KOKU), an association of Ugandans who have studied in South Korea.
According to him, the criteria of picking students is by getting a list of what each ministry feels what field an ordinary disadvantaged Ugandan should go and study.
He said this year, so far two ministries (finance and health) have submitted what courses they feel should benefit Ugandans who will be selected for the sponsorship.
He noted that finance ministry wants students who will be selected to study financial negotiations, customs revenue reforms and debt management courses while health ministry wants students to go and study health paramedics.
Mr Oh-Inn added that the aim of giving out yearly sponsorship packages is because before South Korea became one of the leading economies, it used to receive aids from other countries “so we are giving back to help developing countries build human resource to stir economic development.”
The KOICA boss urged Ugandans students who have benefited from past sponsorships to always return to Uganda and share the knowledge with others back home.
Mr Robert Kassage, president KOKU welcomed the continued sponsorship support rendered to Ugandans in building their capacities to create a strong human resource capital for the country.
“Impacting skills will to Ugandans will build an improvement in performance of different sector of the economy,” he said.