The Liberian Government, in partnership with the People’s Republic of China, offered an opportunity for seven Liberians from the public to benefit from scholarships at the Masters level in the following fields: the sciences, Architectural Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Public Health, Geo-Information System, Civil Engineering, Information Technology, Chemical Engineering, Development Studies, and Mining Engineering.
The Inter-Ministerial Scholarships Committee, based on its Bilateral Scholarships Policy, embarked on a vigorous vetting process. Applications were hand delivered to the Ministry of Education, Office of Scholarships. Twenty-eight applications were received by the deadline of March 27, 2017.
After careful scrutiny, 19 applications were deemed complete, based on a list of required documents: CV, proof of citizenship, diploma, age limit, letter of intent (rationale for degree sought), two letters of recommendation (academic & professional), transcript, research proposal, four passport size photos and medical certificate.
The 19 top candidates were short-listed for a written exam and face-to-face interviews, which all the applicants took at the Ministry of Education. The written exam, including an essay worth 60 points, required the students to highlight the most important thing they would do to change their hometown. The essays were judged for the quality of responses, coherence, relevance, correctness and structure. The face-to-face interviews consisted of a four-person panel from the Inter-Ministerial Scholarships Committee and the Ministry of Education. During the interviews, applicants were judged based on knowledge of the sector chosen, expressed ability to undertake graduate research, attitude, eloquence, eye contact, body language, and dress code.
After the final scores were tabulated based on all elements of the vetting process, 11 candidates met the threshold of 70 percent and above. The top seven candidates were selected, representing the public. The remaining four were placed on the alternative list as per the request of the Chinese Embassy.
The full summary of the vetting activities can be found here.