Ms. Rebeca Alvariño, Mr. David Arjones, Mr. Víctor Manuel Chavez and Ms. Laura Vigo are 4 of the 35 students who are availing of the first scholarships offered by the Campus do Mar. This initiative is directed towards training young researchers in the different marine and maritime research fields of scope. These scholars were chosen from amongst 100 applicants from 12 countries in which most applicants fulfilled all requisites specified in the terms and conditions. Only 29 students from the E.C. and 6 students from non-E.C. countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico) were finally chosen and they have been registered in 42 Master’s degree programs in the three Galician universities.
Too good to be ignored
The scholars said that the scholarship, which consists of a full waiver of registration fee and a monthly payment of 750 Euros for the scholarship term, is just too good to refuse. And David Arjones from Vigo added “it lets you do the master’s program without bothering to look for a simultaneous job or abuse our parent’s benevolence”. He is a law graduate and is now doing the Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Environmental Law with which he hopes to get firsthand knowledge of everything that he was unable to experience in the graduate degree program. Arjones is a good example that demonstrates that not all scholars are from the scientific field. There are 25 scholars who are studying a Master’s degree program in science and another 10 distributed between technology (6), legal-social (3) and the humanities (1). Although Arjones’ studies are not directly related to the sea, he nevertheless plans to do so in the future by carrying out his Master’s dissertation thesis on studying the many legislative measures used in order to protect the marine environment, “especially the Marine Protected Areas”.
Rebeca Alvariño, who is involved with the marine field, learned about the scholarships through the Facebook pages of the Campus do Mar and that of the Galician Oceanographer’s Association. She has just graduated with a degree in Marine Science and is currently doing a Master’s degree in Marine Biology. “there are very few scholarships of this type for doing a Master’s program and it seems that they are going to be even less”, she complains, “but such initiatives provide an opportunity to study for a postgraduate degree program to persons who would otherwise be unable to do so”. She furthermore added that the Master’s program that she is studying offers apprenticeships in companies or in research centres, something quite important since she would prefer to work in an activity that would enable her to use the knowledge acquired during her academic training and experience ongoing training.
A great interest from Latin-American students
Even though most applications were received from Spanish students, there was nevertheless a good interest for the scholarship from Latin-American students, especially from Colombia. Other applicants were from European states such as Portugal and Turkey. Laura Vigoya, a scholar from Colombia, is studying for a Master’s degree in Applied Signal Processing at the Vigo campus. “I learned about the scholarship from my Master’s coordinator and applied for it immediately”, she said. She further added that this initiative not only opens up opportunities for interdisciplinary studies but also permits “more people with less economic resources who are interested in studying and researching, to access higher studies and thus spread the knowledge so acquired into other parts of the world”.
Víctor Manuel Chávez has arrived from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. He is studying for a Master’s degree in Climate Science at the Ourense campus, and claims “these are studies that do not exist in my country”. “These are of special interest to me due to my Physics degree” he adds “and I am keen on all research that delves deeper into climate change”. “I had never heard about the Campus do Mar Project even though I knew about the Master’s program, and it was through the webpage of the Master’s program that I learned about this scholarship”.