Manchester Twinning programme-Past students honoured


VP Faure addressing guests and past students at the ceremony on Wednesday

Now that the programme has come to an end, the past students were brought together at the International Conference Centre for a moment of re-living memories, catching up with friends and colleagues, in a relaxing atmosphere.

Present at the ceremony were Vice-President Danny Faure, Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Paul Adam, who was a past lecturer in the programme, several government officials, British high commissioner Lindsay Skoll and vice-chancellor of the University of Seychelles Marina Confait.

Leading the ceremony was the former director of the Seychelles Polytechnic Audrey Nanon.

The programme was first started in 2001, and in 2009 saw the last cohort of students got their letters of acceptance to leave for Manchester to continue their studies, marking the close of the Manchester Twinning Programme.

Addressing the guests, VP Faure said success stories are worth recounting with pride, and the Manchester Twinning Programme was one of the greatest achievements in education.

“This is a true reflection of what can be achieved when there is the will of partners to work together and bring about the right changes for the progress of our country,” he said.

The programme had students following the first year of their studies at the Seychelles Polytechnic and then moving to the University of Manchester, UK for the second and third year of their studies, giving them exposure to an international environment.

“The strong message was that the initiative had to succeed. At the end of the programme, I’m proud to note that the students did extremely well, and in some instances did as well, if not better than their foreign colleagues. I am even more proud to say that 98.5% of students completed with a degree, and most of them have returned to contribute to key sectors and are now employed in major companies, ministries and departments, such as the Central Bank of Seychelles, Financial Investigation Unit, Ministry of Finance, Seychelles Investment Board, National Assembly, and also in the private sector. They hold prominent positions, such as principal secretary, chief executive officer, director general, financial controller and director.”
There was also a testimony from past student Azarel Ernesta, who today holds the post of Clerk in the National Assembly.

A short film was also screened which showed the students’ life in Manchester, and laughs were heard all round as past memories arose, and those present saw themselves as they had been as students all those years ago.

Approximately R53 million has been spent on the programme, which saw a total of 138 students take part and has been described as a “massive success” and “a worthwhile investment”, and has responded to the needs of the local market.

After the ceremony, all present merged for a more informal and light-hearted moment, where they socialised until later in the evening.