Marlene Hassan Nahon in her populist retort on discretionary scholarships is as usual disrespecting the hard working staff of the Department of Education as well as the Scholarships Panel which assesses applications and does so on a totally voluntary basis.
She has also jumped the gun as there is for the first time a clear and direct appeals process which will result in unsuccessful applications being scrutinised again.
The delay in publishing the results is regretted but was precisely because so much attention was given to assessing the applications in view of the fact that there were so many and that, as Ms Hassan Nahon should be aware, finances are tight.
It should be noted that some of the applicants who have been unsuccessful have already had funding for two or more degrees, and priority has been given to those who have not already had this level of Government support. Other applicants were ineligible for other reasons, including reasons of residency.
Minister for Education John Cortes said, “It should be remembered that it was this Government that introduced funding for second degrees. It has awarded two thirds of all discretionary applications, and has provided more scholarships than any other Government and invested many, many millions in Education at all levels. No one has ever done more.”