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Please return home, foreign-based students urged

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Uganda students studying abroad have been advised to return home once they complete their studies to contribute to the national development.

Speaking during the pre-departure event at the European Union Residence, the commissioner, in charge of scholarships and students’ affairs, Ministry of Education, Muzamil Mukwatampola, said on many occasions, students leave the country for further studies abroad and never return home.

Through the European Union delegation, fifteen Ugandan students have been awarded scholarships for Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters and integrated study programs at the master’s level. They are expected to travel next week.

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“It is sad to see us go and choose to stay abroad. I think that is a disservice to your own country. Please go, study, acquire skills and expertise in your field, then come back and make an impact in your home country,” he noted.

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Rudi Veestaeten the Ambassador Of Belgium to Uganda addressing the students

Rudi Veestaeten the Ambassador Of Belgium to Uganda addressing the students

While addressing the Erasmus scholarship awardees, Mukwatampola appealed to them to ensure they are back after their two years of study and help in solving community problems, fighting corruption in all its forms, but above all, foster Uganda’s growth.

“We have our embassies in Europe and across, so please reach us whenever you want to, go out there and be our ambassadors, represent us well with good discipline and integrity, and avoid alcohol and drugs,” he advised.

Under this program, students will study at least two different universities located in different countries during their studies.

These host countries include; Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

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The Ambassador of Belgium to Uganda, HE. Rudi Veestaeten, said the delegation intends to broaden the number of students rather than send a small number, as he noted that after the longest school closure, Uganda needs more support in the education sector.

He also hinted at the mismatch between youth labor demand and supply in Uganda, citing that around 700,000 young people reach working age and among them, only three in five work in unpaid occupations, contributing very little or none.

“That is why many need to get such scholarships because they greatly increase access to high-quality practical skills, especially the technical, medical, and agricultural fields to support Uganda,” he stated.

Joshua Amaitum, one of the beneficiaries going to pursue a master’s in European forestry in Finland, could not hold his tears of joy. Instead, he broke down during a cocktail dinner on Thursday.

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‘I cannot believe this is happening. Someone needs to wake me up because this is surely a dream, I am super excited and at the same time emotional. Being given this opportunity is something I don’t take for granted,” he added.

Anne Awio, who was also awarded a master’s program in plant bleeding, said she will use the opportunity to use her knowledge in expanding growth in the agricultural sector.

She assured us that there is no way anyone would convince me to stay abroad after I am done, in a steady rush back to play my part as someone passionate about her motherland.

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