The scholarships are intended to assist students in Peru with limited economic means, and are funded by Peru's National Programme for Scholarships and Educational Loans, known as
PRONABEC, who are part of the Ministry of Education in Peru. The programme, which will be coordinated by the International Unit is expected to fund up to 100 Peruvian students to come to the UK as soon as Autumn 2015.
The Peruvian Minister of Education, Jaime Saavedra, and British Ambassador to Lima, Anwar Choudhury were present in London for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), as well as Vivienne Stern, Director of the UK Higher Education Unit and senior officials from the UK Government's UK Trade & Investment department (UKTI).
It is anticipated that between 50-100 students will study at UK higher education institutions under the agreement in its first year, with the possibility of expansion over the next five years should the scheme prove successful.
Vivienne Stern, Director of the UK HE International Unit commented:"This is a real opportunity to significantly expand higher education collaboration between the UK and Peru. We hope that this is only the beginning of further reciprocal cooperation with Peru for student mobility as well as for research and innovation.We welcome having more Peruvian students studying in the UK, and are delighted that this scheme will particularly help students who would not otherwise have been able to come to the UK to study. The UK has a unique and diverse higher education sector which is known internationally for its excellence and will offer Peruvian students an outstanding university experience in subjects such as economics, public policy, journalism, law, environmental sciences, physics and biology."
The MOU with the International Unit was not the only MOU signed by the Peruvian Minister on his trip to the UK. Minister Saavedra and Nick Gibb, Minister of State for School Reform at the Department for Education, signed a UK-Peru government-to-government MOU which describes the support and technical assistance which UK education agencies, educational institutions, and companies will provide to Peru in order to support its stated ambition to become 'bilingual in English' by 2021. Initial steps in 2015 to help improve learning outcomes in English in Peru's secondary schools will include the training of 200 Peruvian teachers in the UK in early 2015, the training of 1,000 teachers in Peru at teacher development summer schools run by UK organisations, and a commitment to send 500 British teachers to teach in Peru.
Minister of Education in Peru, said:"I'm absolutely delighted for this agreement between our two countries to make Peru bilingual in English by 2021. I think this means more trade, more jobs, more knowledge and a huge benefit for Peru."
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About the UK Higher Education International UnitThe UK Higher Education International Unit promotes the interests of the UK higher education institutions (HEIs) to governments at home and abroad, carrying out high profile projects to facilitate the breadth and diversity of their international activities. It supports the sector's engagement in European Union and Bologna Process policy debates. The International Unit consults with the sector; facilitates the exchange of best practice; provides intelligence and advice; and identifies opportunities for UK HEIs to expand their work internationally.The International Unit is funded by Universities UK, GuildHE, Higher Education Funding Council for England, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Scottish Funding Council, Department for Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland), The Higher Education Academy and the Quality Assurance Agency. The International Unit was founded on 1 August 2010.
About PRONABECPRONABEC, is the Executive Unit N° 117 of THE MINISTRY in charge of the design, planning, managing, monitoring and evaluating of scholarships and educational credits for higher education with the objective of contributing to equal opportunity in the access of low income students and professionals with academic excellence to study programmes, as well as guaranteeing their possibilities to carry out the studies and obtaining the respective degrees or titles.