A Brazilian student is the first recipient of a new NUI Galway scholarship for students from a non-EU country to study at the university.
Heictor Gonzaga, now living in Gort, Co Galway, has taken up a place in the Bachelor of Engineering degree course. Mr Gonzaga and his family came to Ireland three years ago where, after a couple of months with the English Language Support system, he entered the Leaving Certificate class in Gort Community School.
The scholarship, funded by Galway University Foundation, is for a student from a non-EU country who has completed at least the final two years of their secondary school studies in Ireland, but who are not eligible for fees at EU rates.
Director of the Galway University Foundation, Tom Joyce, says: “Galway University Foundation has developed a special scholarship fund to assist deserving Leaving Certificate students from non-EU backgrounds to attend NUI Galway. We are pleased to support the university’s efforts to broaden access to third-level education.”
For the past decade Gort Community School has seen an influx of international students with the majority of students from the Brazilian community. Principal of Gort Community School, Denis Corry, says: “We are delighted to see Heictor getting this award not just for himself and his family, but for the whole Brazilian community. From not knowing a word of English three years ago, to getting 510 points in his Leaving Certificate this year, is a remarkable achievement by any standards. I would also like to commend his teachers and most particularly his Language Support Teacher, Margaret Geraghty, for her wonderful support to all the Brazilian community over the last 10 years. This was very much a team effort.”
The value of the scholarship will be the annual non–EU fee for the relevant programme less the Student Levy element of the fee. The scholarship is payable for each year of the full-time undergraduate degree programme for which the student registers.