ANHRD holds fifth public awareness education fair | 20 February 2020
Over 35 universities, embassies and consulates, education hubs and institutions convened at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles (ICCS) yesterday to showcase tertiary training opportunities available to Seychellois.
Now in its fifth edition, public awareness education fair is hosted by the Agency for the National Human Resource Development (ANHRD) and is open to students and public alike with the aim of providing first-hand information on scholarships and university courses.
This year’s participants came from various parts of the world including Botswana, Malaysia, Canada and South Africa with additional representatives of embassies and consulates from the United States, Japan and France.
According to ANHRD’s chief executive, Nadia Lauricourt, the number of exhibitors participating in this year’s fair has drastically increased compared to the first edition five years ago.
It is our fifth edition and back when we first started out, it was really small with fewer than 15 participants, and now we have 35 participants. Each year we see increased participation from newcomers,” Mrs Lauricourt observed.
The United States embassy, based in Mauritius, is among some of the exhibitors that were participating in the fair for the very first time.
“The role of the US embassy’s EducationUSA advise centre is to assist and help students looking to attend universities in the US; inform them how to apply, what are the entry requirements and what are the scholarship opportunities available to international students,” Iqbal Maherally, EducationUSA adviser, explained.
Mr Maherally noted that, in the near future, Seychellois may gain an American degree without having to go far since the University of Mauritius and University of Arizona are working towards providing courses in Mauritius where students will gain a dual award degree from both universities.
On the other side of the room was the stall for the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), manned by a number of officers and experts from the corporation.
PUC was using the fair as a means to recruit people to the organisation as well as to provide them with information on career progression, knowledge and skills development and possibilities for further training.
Anna Chetty, training officer at PUC, explained that the corporation is always on the lookout for new additions to their team, especially in regards to priority areas such as civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, water resources management and water supply and sanitation.
“PUC can part finance your scholarship, through ANHRD, or we can provide candidates with on-the-job training to start with. We can also finance your studies which in turns benefits us as the employer,” Ms Chetty explained.
It is also the first time that the PUC features in ANHRD’s education fair.
Meanwhile among the dozen of universities present was the International University of Malaya-Wales located in Malaysia but which offers its students the opportunity to undertake one semester in the United Kingdom.
Wee Ma Ling, assistant manager at the university’s international marketing department, noted that the university has been coming to promote its courses in the Seychelles for three years and it presently has two Seychellois students who are undertaking a biotechnology degree course.
“This is part of our marketing programme and we have selected Seychelles as one of our target markets because we see that there is potential and we have the support of the ANHRD. Moreover the education system we use is similar to that in Seychelles since we look for A-Level education, so the quality is there,” Mr Wee elaborated.
In regards to the visitors who took some time to check out the fair, Seychelles NATION met with 17-year-old Olga Romenska from Ecole Française des Seychelles who is currently in Year 12 and will sit for her bac next year, when she joins Year 13.
Ms Romenska noted that this is a perfect opportunity to scope out the opportunities available to her, even before she completes her secondary studies.
“I want to have an idea of what I can do and what is available for me in the coming years, and if I can afford these courses,” she highlighted.
After taking a peek at all the information stalls, Ms Romenska noted that she was most interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Environmental Science at the University of Seychelles since she is passionate about protecting the environment.
Not so lucky however was Agnes Elisabeth, currently employed with the Ministry of Health, who has been in search of a BSc course in dental hygiene for over two years and who still could not find an ideal course during yesterday’s fair.
“It has been almost two years since I completed my course at NIHSS and I am in search of a university to further my studies since I had qualified for a scholarship. Even though I have been searching online, I have yet to find one and I was informed by the ANHRD about this fair so I came to check out my chances but I’m still disappointed.”
“They are not offering the courses I want; I want to pursue a Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene but some are offering courses that incorporate dental hygiene into a five-year dentistry course and this is not what I am aiming for.”
The ANHRD tends to organise its education fair at the start of each year, in February, because it is the period where students have just received their exam results and are in search of courses to further their studies.
The accompanying photos taken by our photographer Louis Toussaint show some of the stalls at the fair.