USAID grants and Idyal partnership benefit students

The American agency USAID has awarded excellence grants to 125 Senegalese agriculture students and scientists to research food security, while a partnership has been struck between École Polytechnique de Thiès and the French Idyal Group to enable students of computer engineering to do theoretical and practical work-linked studies.

Le Soleil reported that the grants from the US government’s USAID-ERA – Education and Research in Agriculture – project were delivered this month to 125 students and researchers from 12 universities and agricultural training and research centres, with funding of more than FCFA1 billion (US$2 million).

The project is aimed at fighting food insecurity through educating young people to establish modern, applied and innovative agriculture in Senegal, said Le Soleil.

In addition to the student grants, American aid has given support in the form of equipment, study trips, and establishing networks of universities, agricultural training centres and research, said Le Soleil.

Meanwhle, a partnership has been set up between École Polytechnique of Thiès and the French Idyal Group for students of computer engineering and telecommunications, reported Le Soleil.

The major innovation of the agreement is that students will alternate theoretical and practical work-linked studies with professional experience in companies from their first year, the paper reported.

The university will teach theoretical foundation courses and Idyal, a consultancy group specialised in finance and ICT, will provide the practical supervision in the workplace.

From the first year students will divide their time equally between the two places. From the fourth year they will spend 40% of their time at university, and from the fifth and final year three-quarters of their credits will be based on professional experience.

Each student will receive a monthly supplement of FCFA65,000 (US$130) on top of a national grant of FCFA35,000.

In addition to the financial support, Idyal is providing a substantial amount of computer equipment for the students’ education, reported Le Soleil.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original report.