Why Cayman’s Students Want to Study Abroad

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1215 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Jun 5, 2019

Words: 1215|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Jun 5, 2019

In the Cayman Islands, when life hands you lemons and brown sugar, you make “Swanky”, a refreshing beverage that many locals continue to love and enjoy. Similarly, when prospects such as scholarships are offered to Caymanians, they make the most of it- a fulfilling and gaining experience for their individual aspirations as well as for the betterment of the country. As much as the local population would like to believe that giving out less overseas scholarships would benefit the community, evidence has shown many benefits of young Caymanians surpassing boundaries and attaining countless achievements, accomplishments and expectations when given the chance to become independent overseas to spread their wings so to speak. Likewise, there should not be any limitations for Caymanians based on something as neutral but individualistic at the same time as a degree choice. Cayman’s students should continue to be given scholarships to overseas universities even if their area of study can be pursued locally because studying abroad provides relevant experience, increases international and local job prospects, and it has continued to prove successful.

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Studying overseas provides relevant experience both for personal and educational growth. The Ministry of Education, Employment & Gender Affairs is “committed to providing students with every possible opportunity to fulfil their education and career goals. The Ministry is, therefore, pleased to provide young Caymanians with scholarship opportunities.” this proves that there should not be any change to who can and cannot be granted a scholarship based on their academic interest. Having asked multiple undergraduates of overseas institutions from the Cayman Islands in countries including Canada, England and Hong Kong, they all replied that being able to study immersed in other cultures and meet new people was the best experience of their life. Furthermore, According to the 2014 International Student Survey, the satisfaction of the overall experience of living and learning for international students studying at other universities was 88%, revealing that in addition to the academic benefits the students are gaining valuable experiences. Hence, all Caymanians should be given the right to apply for an overseas scholarship even if their area of study is offered locally.

Having obtained overseas university level education increases international and job prospects. This is revealed by a survey that found “98% of job seekers not work ready” and the skills gap was identified in the report as “one of the leading causes employers cited for turning down local workers. Almost three-quarters of employers (71.5%) said the lack of requisite skills was the principal reason for not hiring Caymanians.” On the other hand, students who return to the Cayman Islands after completing their Bachelor’s degree would have likely participated in compulsory workshops, cooperative education programs and been exposed to supplementary opportunities to develop important work skills. In addition, students can get more educational advances with the same amount of time overseas. What if Ken, a student wants to pursue a career in computer science was denied an overseas scholarship due to his educational studies being provided locally. He would have to complete a two years associate’s degree before he was able to start his four-year Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at The University College of the Cayman Islands. Had Ken, for instance studied overseas at Boston University where he would be able to start his bachelor’s degree immediately and complete his masters thereafter, he’d have the advantage of a master’s degree whereas if he had studied locally he would have only completed an associates and bachelor’s degree in the same amount of time of six years. Equally important, students aren’t guaranteed a job even when they complete a higher form of education at the best universities in the world. Devin, a young Caymanian, having received exceptional grades at an overseas institution whilst obtaining his bachelor's in accounting came back to The Cayman Islands to work and unfortunately, the government would not hire him, instead offering to fund an overseas scholarship for him to then obtain his masters in Accounting. If he was not able to get a job in government with his education and skills, will students studying locally at ICCI or UCCI be able to obtain a job?

Most Caymanian students who can’t pursue their area of study in the Cayman Islands and older members of the community that never got the opportunity to get an overseas scholarship will say that the Government’s money should be prioritised for them or the country on a whole respectively. They will say that 1.6M was spent last year for overseas scholarship according to a Cayman Compass article. Even so, Deirdre Carmola, Manager of the Scholarship Secretariat states “We are here to support them through their tertiary career and ensure that they take full advantage of their study overseas and return to be successful, productive citizens” displaying how generous and forthcoming the government is with overseas scholarships. According to a press release from the Ministry of Education, a minimum of 170 students received overseas scholarships. If the majority of them were not able to attend university overseas because the withholding of funds, the universities in the Cayman Islands could possibly become increasingly competitive and full, not only leading to fewer spots available for Caymanians but for non-Caymanians as well especially at institutions such as Truman Bodden Law School and St. Matthews University.

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Clearly, it is crucial for teenagers to discover themselves without being sheltered by a safety net including living with their parents, doing the same activities every day and being around people who they have known their whole lives. Students who are committed enough to move away from their homes need challenging and stimulating peers with the same goals and drive. Therefore, having studies provided locally should not end in an automatic dismissal of their application. It is only fair, that young Caymanians have the right to choose whether they want to study locally and possibly end up without a job or study overseas in which their academics will be enhanced and applicable to other countries. Consequently, the most effective way for students to achieve tertiary education abroad is if the Government continues to grant the chance of an overseas scholarship to all Caymanians. Additionally, there are students who want to effectively obtain as many skills within a given period of time possible who would not be able to because of the lack of opportunities available to them locally if they did not have the funds to pursue studies overseas. Besides, changing the application acceptance criteria would potentially result in an abundance of students of varying educational standards and goals not gaining the education they deserve due to overcrowding and potentially even affecting the economy and personal lives of those who would not have any other opportunities offered to them besides the local studies. The question is whether or not the government wants to make a variety of well-rounded professionals that are able to choose the path they are comfortable and happy with or end up with problematic situations including the country on a whole, affecting the students who are the future of Cayman on a personal, economic and financial level. It is clear that the Cayman Islands Government should continue to use the lemons and brown sugar they are so gratefully provided with to make invaluable “Swanky” rather than discard these precious ingredients.

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Why Cayman’s Students Want to Study Abroad. (2019, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from
“Why Cayman’s Students Want to Study Abroad.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2019,
Why Cayman’s Students Want to Study Abroad. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Apr. 2024].
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