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Somaliland (Student Scholarships)

Volume 524: debated on Wednesday 3 March 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what information he has concerning the 25 scholarships for Somaliland students given by the Egyptian Government; and how many British scholarships have been given during the past year.

The awards were sponsored by the Somali National League. Of the 19 scholars who have already travelled to Egypt, nine are receiving religious instruction only and the remaining 10 are to receive secondary education. The Somaliland Government have given 13 scholarships during the past year for studies abroad including three in the United Kingdom. A total of 34 students are at present undertaking studies abroad with the assistance of Government or Colonial Development and Welfare funds, eight of whom are in the United Kingdom.

In view of the fact that these students who go into Egypt become acquainted with the Egyptian atmosphere and interpretation of events, is it not highly desirable that we should supply more scholarships for Somali students to come to this country than we have done heretofore?

I appreciate the point made by the hon. Gentleman. The difference between grants and scholarships is not perhaps so well defined there, and the hon. Gentleman will note in the answer that 34 students are getting grants and that 13 are getting scholarships. I will, however, bring the point to the attention of my right hon. Friend.

Do they come to this country? Is it not essential that we should encourage as many as possible to come here?

No, Sir, because many of them go to adjoining Colonial Territories and can benefit from similarity of conditions, though perhaps not such a high standard of education.

With the opening of the Muslim Institute of Education in Mombasa, will my hon. and learned Friend draw the attention of his right hon. Friend to the importance of using that particularly for the education of Somalis from British Somaliland?

Yes, Sir, and I can tell my hon. Friend that of those 34 students some are at Mombasa already.