SINGAPORE: Nine people were awarded the Foreign Service Scholarship by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Friday (Aug 15). Four of them received the Overseas Merit Scholarship while another five were given the Singapore Government Scholarship.
The Overseas Merit Scholarship is administered by the Public Service Commission, while the Singapore Government Scholarship is administered by MFA. Since its inception in 1996, MFA has awarded more than 100 scholarships to students in a wide range of academic fields.
Minister for Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam said a foreign service officer is required to work in an extremely complex and multi-faceted environment, so his ministry has been selecting the best people over the past 20 years. The scholars are stationed in countries such as China, Europe and the United States to give them the maximum possible exposure.
"We have had more than a hundred people and we send them to different countries, not just a specific country or specific university. You want them to get the maximum possible exposure - in China, Japan, France, UK, US, Europe. And you know we will continue to look for people with a variety of interests and different mindsets, so that when they come back, together they add a lot of depth and breadth to the way we can handle foreign policy," said Mr Shanmugam.
Mr Ho Yao Nian, an MFA Scholarship recipient who will be studying Foreign Service at Georgetown University, said "First and foremost, the foreign service for me is an opportunity for inter-disciplinary work and more importantly, the beauty of the job lies in the uncertainty. So that is really what drew me to the service - uncertainty." - CNA/by
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