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ACU launches new marine scholarships

Scholarships for marine science research degrees driven by the Association of Commonwealth Universities have been announced for students from Ghana, India, Bangladesh and Belize.

The University of Belize will be one of the institutions able to give scholarships through the OCPP. Photo: Pexels

There will be a total of 56 scholarships available under the program

The Ocean Country Partnership Programme, organised by ACU and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, allows students in the various countries to undertake a master’s in marine science.

It follows a successful pilot of the program in the South Pacific in 2022.

“[These scholarships] will go a long way to support sustainable marine environments whilst also helping the next generation of marine scientists to develop their careers, skills and knowledge through master’s study,” said ACU chief executive and secretary general Colin Riordan.

“We look forward to continuing our work with the OCPP delivery partners and universities in coastal communities to protect ocean environments and support sustainable marine practices,” he added.

There will be a total of 56 scholarships available under the program, and will fund “a range of courses” in the area of marine science.

It is hoped that the move will “contribute to the conservation and sustainable management of marine resources”, ACU said, adding that it also aims to aid better responses to marine environmental challenges.

“[The scholarships] contribute to an enhanced knowledge base in OCPP partner countries to tackle the key marine challenges of biodiversity loss, marine pollution and sustainable seafood,” noted Cefas chief Neil Hornby.

“This initiative broadens Cefas’ support for students internationally, creating opportunities for them to develop their science and enabling much needed scientific research to take place in these countries.”

The universities – a selected amount from the countries aforementioned – include University of Belize, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Berhampur University, India, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, and Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), India

Sushil Kumar, director of research at the University of the South Pacific where the pilot program took place said the OCPP gave students the “expertise to address the regional and global challenges in marine pollution and biodiversity” – and 13 early-mid career researchers are still registered as part of the pilot.

“This partnership between USP, ACU and Cefas has… provided an opportunity for USP academics to collaborate on different research projects and produce research output.

“The USP looks forward to having more students under this scholarship scheme, both from the region and internationally contributing to the capacity building in these areas of regional significance,” said Kumar.

Further locations will be confirmed in 2024, ACU said.

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