The Department of Science and Technology through the Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), continues its mission of producing and developing future Filipino scientists and engineers as it announces the 3,597 high school students who qualify as DOST-SEI Undergraduate Scholars starting School Year 2013-2014. This is 7.1% higher than the 3,359 number of qualifiers last year. Moreover, the number of municipalities with qualifiers also increased to 1,107 this year compared to 975 in 2012. 

From the total number of the 2013 passers, 3,089 belong to economically disadvantaged families who qualified under the RA 7687 Scholarship grants, while 508 students who topped the examination qualified under the DOST-SEI Merit Scholarship Program. 

Qualifiers who avail of any of the S&T undergraduate scholarships may pursue a four- or five-year college degree in priority science and technology fields. As benefits, RA 7687 scholars will receive tuition subsidy, monthly stipend, book allowance and many more. Scholars under the Merit scholarship program will likewise receive the same benefits except for the pro-rated monthly stipend based on the family’s socio-economic status. 

DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo said the Department’s scholarship programs will provide the new awardees access to quality education in leading public and private institutions as it targets to substantially increase the number of scientists and engineers needed to boost economic productivity and knowledge creation in the country. 

“We are optimistic that this new breed of future scientists and engineers will help us in creating S&T-based solutions for us to achieve a ‘smarter’ Philippines,” Montejo said. 

The scholarship qualifiers can enroll in state universities and colleges and other higher education institutions recognized by the Commission on Higher Education as Centers of Excellence or Centers of Development, wherein they can take up priority science and technology courses such as Agriculture, Agricultural Biotechnology; Agricultural Chemistry; Agricultural Engineering; Applied Mathematics; Applied Physics; Biochemistry; Biology; Ceramics Engineering; Chemistry with Applied Computer System; Chemistry with Materials Science and Engineering; Chemistry Engineering; Chemistry; Civil Engineering; Computer Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical Engineering; Electronics and Communications Engineering; Environmental Science; Fisheries; Food Technology; Forestry; Geology; Geodetic Engineering; Industrial Engineering; Information Technology; Manufacturing Engineering; Materials Engineering; Mathematics; Mechanical Engineering; Metallurgical Engineering; Mining Engineering; Molecular Biology and Biotechnology; Physics; Physics with Applied Computer System; Physics with Material Science and Engineering; Science/Mathematics Teaching and Statistics. 

The Department hopes that this year’s batch of qualifiers will ultimately add to the pool of scientists and engineers who will actively lead in S&T activities, research and development (R&D) and innovation. Montejo also noted that the scholarship program is one of DOST’s major strategies in upholding President Benigno Aquino III’s pledge to support the expansion of scholarships granted to outstanding yet underprivileged students. 

Meanwhile, SEI Director Filma G. Brawner believes that the country will be able to produce more S&T professionals through the implementation of various innovative strategies in developing human resources along with the different scholarship programs of the Institute. 

“I believe that through the different scholarship programs of DOST-SEI, we are slowly inching towards meeting the ideal number of scientists and engineers per million population as well as in reaching our vision of a scientifically-equipped society,” Brawner said. 

The DOST-SEI Undergraduate Scholarship Program is the Department’s response to its mandate of accelerating the pace of knowledge-driven development in accordance with the S&T human resource growth potential in the country. 

In addition, Sec. Montejo is pleased to announce the availability of scholarship slots for the 2014 S&T Undergraduate Scholarships. Application forms can be obtained at SEI or can be downloaded at its website, and Deadline for filing of application and requirements is on August 23, 2013. The nationwide scholarship examination is on September 22, 2013. (30)