President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has announced the introduction of merit scholarships this year. The aim is to expand higher education opportunities.  The announcement came during the award ceremony for the President’s Scholarship and High Achievers’ Scholarship. The ceremony honoured the top performers of the 2022 General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level examination. First Lady Fazna Ahmed also participated in the ceremony held at the Umar Zahir Office Building.

President Solih personally presented the President’s Scholarship award letters to 17 students who excelled in the GCE Advanced Level examinations. Additionally, the First Lady awarded scholarship letters to 18 recipients of the High Achievers’ Scholarship, out of a total of 138 awardees.

Government’s commitment to education

In his speech, President Solih emphasised that Maldivian students will now have access to an unprecedented number of scholarships from foreign countries. He also revealed that the government has provided free Bachelor’s Degree opportunities to 17,000 students, with an expenditure of MVR 567 million. Additionally, the government is currently supporting 418 students studying in 25 different countries through its scholarships and grants from other nations.

President Solih further stated that his administration has allocated over MVR 528 million for scholarships and nearly a billion MVR in student loans, benefiting 1,986 students. He reiterated his administration’s commitment to enhancing education opportunities through higher education scholarships, student loans, and awards. The President highlighted the success of the administration’s free degree programme, which has enabled students from low-income families to pursue higher education.

The aim of the new scholarship program is to expand opportunities for higher education by catering to students who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the existing President’s and High Achievers’ scholarships. These students will have the chance to obtain merit scholarships if they achieve top grades in the required subjects of their chosen field of study. The Higher Education Ministry will release additional details about the program in due course.