Seeking Closer Diplomatic Relations, Hungary Offers More Scholarships to Kenyan Students.
In late March and early April, government officials from Kenya and Hungary met in Budapest for the purpose of increasing diplomatic relations and discussing matters such as trade, health and education. The Kenyan group invited to Hungary was headed by Justin Muturi, Speaker of Kenya’s National Assembly, and one of the highlights of the meeting in Budapest was the announcement of 100 scholarships for Kenyan students who wish to pursue careers in the education and healthcare fields.
The Kenyan delegation was welcomed by László Kövér, Speaker of Hungary’s National Assembly, to tour the magnificent Országház, one of the most visited parliament buildings in the world. Hungarian officials have been interested in forging closer ties with key African allies, and a formal invitation was extended for Kenya to formalize diplomatic ties by means of opening an embassy. Muturi also met with Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén as well as with officials from the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
With regard to scholarships, the Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship program has been around since 2003; it started a few years after this Eastern European nation was declared a high-income country by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In essence, students from countries that have established bilateral relations with Hungary are encouraged to apply for university scholarships for various undergraduate and graduate programs. Until recently, the number of scholarships offered to Kenyans was 50 per year, but this number was doubled during the aforementioned official visit to Budapest.
To apply for these scholarships, prospective students should visit the Ministry of Education website and download the informational brochures. Undergraduate students must have completed their secondary education with B grades within the last three years, and they must not be older than 23 years of age. As for the graduate program scholarships, applicants must have already completed two years of public service in Kenya. Some of the newest Master of Science programs offered at Szent Istvan University include Rural Development and Agricultural Biotechnology.
It should be noted that Hungary is just one country that offers scholarships to Kenyan students. The Ministry of Education lists more than 100 programs offered around the world. As can be expected, Commonwealth Scholarships are highly sought-after, but there are many other programs offered in Asia, Europe and the Americas. In the specific case of Hungary, this is a country interested in promoting stability and education abroad as a direct response to the Mediterranean refugee crisis of recent years.