A group of aggrieved Liberians have expressed their frustration relative to the Arcelor Mittal Scholarship for advanced studies.The group through its spokesperson, Mr. Terrence Cummings said while it is true that they appreciate and welcome the brilliant idea of Mittal Steel for formulating this advanced scholarship scheme, it would be prudent to make some extension for the process.
The scholarship applicants said while the exercise is intended to improve or develop the human resource capacity of Liberians, Arcelor Mittal should exercise some patience and give them adequate time to process their respective papers for the scholarships.
The applicants, who acknowledged that the exercise is intended to contribute to the post war development initiatives of Liberia, equally expressed their frustration over the hasty manner in which the exercise is being carried, noting that it takes time to process documents. "We strongly believe that there are several potential drawbacks as it relates to the application procedures and processes," their spokesman said.
"We firstly want to point out that the September 28, 2012 application deadline is very short considering the length of time it takes for Universities anywhere in the world to process foreign student's application," he added.
The applicants said most universities take approximately 1-2 months to process foreign students' application and regret that Arcelor Mittal did not take into consideration such time-line.
The applicants further said countries like Australia and Sweden require TOEFEL test result and GMAT scores in order to get admission or acceptance letter which takes several weeks.
The groups said the Management of Mittal Steel and Ministry of Education Scholarship Committee should have assessed all of the universities or countries that were identified and ascertain the length of time it takes to process foreign students' application before setting its application deadline.
"Also, we want the Ministry of Education vetting committee to call on the Management of Mittal Steel to extend its application deadline in a realistic manner so that the program can yield the intended results," they said.
The applicants claimed that some of them have spent up to US$ 500.00 to DHL their documents to the respective universities inclusive of application fees via banking transfer only to encounter such a setback.
"Most of the universities' next admission semester or intake is January 2013 and if the Management of Mittal Steel in consultation with the MOE vetting committee can extend the application deadline up to the end of November 2012 then our frustration would be eased," they said.
"We also want to call on the government of Liberia through the office of the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf since the National Legislature is on recess to intervene on our behalf as a way of moving Liberia forward. It is quite a blessed thing to have Liberians who are desirous of acquiring the requisite knowledge and skills in order to better our country," the scholarship beneficiary stated.