HSBC Cayman announced it will, in partnership with the University College of the Cayman Islands, provide full scholarships to five students to complete an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree.
The bank said students are encouraged to submit an application immediately for Fall 2009. The primary goal of the HSBC Cayman scholarship programme is to help Caymanians to be competitive in the local market, said HSBC Cayman’s CEO, Mr. Gonzalo Jalles.
While the scholarships aim at students in business-related degree programmes such as finance, accounting, insurance, IT and marketing, all students are eligible to apply.
‘Of course, we would like to support students that are pursuing a career in financial services because the Bank is always looking to gain access to more Caymanian talent,’ Mr. Jalles said.
‘However, the greater need in the community is for Caymanians to be more competitive in all industries. Therefore, if HSBC Cayman can help even a few students to gain a competitive edge wherever they choose to work in the Islands, then the scholarship program has served its purpose.’
HSBC Cayman has partnered with UCCI to support five students to successfully complete their degrees. The scholarship programme involves a financial award to cover primarily tuition expenses at UCCI.
HSBC intends to grow the programme and explore additional partnerships with other local institutions of higher learning to expand the programme’s reach in 2010 and beyond, Mr. Jalles said.
The Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush lauded the partnership between HSBC Cayman and UCCI. ‘The goal of the Cayman Islands Government is to educate and prepare students to be successful in the job market. We are extremely pleased that HSBC Cayman has stepped up to make a difference without the government having to ask for help,’ Mr. Bush said.
‘We encourage other companies in the private sector to follow HSBC’s example. Along with my counterparts in the Ministry of Education, I look forward to working together with companies in the private sector like HSBC to make a difference this year and for the future,’ he said.
Rolston Anglin, Minister of Education, Training & Employment, echoed Mr. Bush’s remarks. ‘Given the current economic downturn and its effect on the local job market, this administration plans to make tertiary education a priority for recent high school graduates. I am therefore grateful to HSBC for making funds available, which will allow five Caymanian youngsters access to tertiary education,’ he stated.
Mr. Jalles added that HSBC is open to working with the Ministry of Education to explore ways to speak with students in local high schools about career development and the benefits of obtaining a university education.
‘The bank’s new scholarship program allows us the opportunity to become familiar with Caymanian students that have the potential to become permanent employees,’ Mr. Jalles explained.
HSBC Cayman has provided students with scholarships in the past. A former scholarship recipient, Laura McLaughlin, returned to Cayman after receiving her Bachelors and Masters degree overseas and now works in HSBC’s Insurance group.