SEARCA, through the Education and Collective Learning Department (ECLD), organized an online Info-session for its Joint Scholarship Programs for AY 2023-2024 on 24 September 2022 via the SOLVE Platform. The Center conducted the info session in response to the growing number of joint scholarship programs and the steady increase of applicants wanting to pursue their graduate studies through the Center’s scholarship. The event was also an avenue for interested applicants to explore their options for studying within the region and for SEARCA to emphasize available opportunities that nationals from SEAMEO member countries may consider.
As part of the info session, ECLD presented an overview of SEARCA’s graduate study program and all the joint scholarships currently available for the ongoing call for applications. The presentation included a description of the programs, the universities where future scholars may study, the major fields of specialization available, the scholarship benefits they may receive, and the requirements peculiar to each joint scholarship type. While SEARCA has 13 ongoing joint scholarships, the info session highlighted five scholarship types, namely, the DAAD-SEARCA, UPM-SEARCA, Tokyo-NODAI-SEARCA, NTU-SEARCA, and Sejong University-SEARCA Joint Scholarship Programs. These five are currently open to all nationals of SEAMEO member countries regardless of their institutional affiliations.
Five more scholarship types were specifically established for the capacity building of the employees of partner institutions such as the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI-SEARCA Joint Scholarship), the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition (CESAIN) of the Royal University of Agriculture in Cambodia (CESAIN-SEARCA and CESAIN-USM-SEARCA Joint Scholarships), Bulacan State University (BULSU-SEARCA Joint Scholarship), and the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC-SEARCA Scholarship). These specific scholarship programs require the applicants to be endorsed by the partner institution, hence, were not included in the ongoing call. Another three joint scholarship programs were also not included in the general call as these follow a very different selection process, namely, the Agropolis Fondation – SEARCA Joint Scholarship, the UPM – Agropolis Fondation – SEARCA Joint Scholarship, and Nagoya University – SEARCA Joint Scholarship.
Besides providing information about the available scholarships, the info session included a walkthrough of ISCHO, which is the online scholarship application portal of SEARCA. ECLD provided tips on answering the application fields, uploading the requirements, and submitting the application. It also discussed the common errors received by applicants such as missing requirements, unanswered fields, and slow internet connection.
As an interactive feature of the info session, a live Q&A after the presentations led by Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, Senior Program Head of ECLD, offered scholarship advising specific to the situation of the virtual attendees, future opportunities, as well as clarifications regarding the requirements. Dr. Cuaresma also shared what SEARCA looks for during the evaluation period such as must-haves and nice-to-have in a scholarship application.
The ongoing call for scholarship applications opened on 01 September and will close on 31 October 2022. For inquiries, interested applicants may visit the website at https://www.searca.org/scholarships or watch a replay of the info session via SEARCA's FaceBook page: https://fb.watch/fMNSNdDstI/