Scholarship Awards in Trinidad and Tobago 1979-1992: A Research Report



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Centre for Ethics Studies, UWI


The principal objective of this study was to examine the extent to which ethnicity was a factor in the award of scholarships by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago during the period 1979-1992. In some cases data on awards dating back to 1970 were available, and these data were also taken into account. The study considered the role of factors such as race, political influence, seniority, and access to the awarding agency. It also attempted to assess the extent to which the actual awards were “representative” of the social composition of the society and of the applicants themselves, while taking into account the changing academic attainments of its constituent populations. The research exercise was, therefore, and analysis of public policy in relation to the award of scholarships by the state, and the consequences of such a policy. The research involved scrutiny and analysis of the records of the Central Training Unit as well as interviews with senior public servants. A questionnaire survey was also conducted in an attempt to assess the reactions and perceptions of those who had applied for awards. A sample of 1,000 eligible persons was drawn from a frame comprising 6,240 successful and unsuccessful applicants over the period 1981-1994. The sample was stratified on the basis of place of residence and data collection was undertaken by face-to-face contact with 842 respondents—414 Africans, 286 Indians, and 142 others- which represents a response rate of 84.2 percent.


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Government policy