AIA’s Higher Education Scholarships Programme, now in its 22nd consecutive year, rewards the top performer from each district at the Grade 5 scholarship examination, by giving them a monthly bursary from Advanced Level (A/L) class right up to the completion of their University degree.
Started in 1994, the programme was initiated to lend a hand to Sri Lanka’s brightest and most promising students, as they are the future of this nation. Notably, AIA scholarships do not require the winners to be an AIA customer but awards purely based on academic merit.
But it is not just academic distinction that this year’s winners can boast of. A dipstick survey conducted on them showed that these highflyers also excel in diverse types of extra-curricular activities, making them admirable all-rounders. The 15 bio-science, 8 math and 3 arts and commerce students are also artists, prefects, cadets, scouts, actors and band members. Impressively, 14 of them are sportsmen with 4 karate, 3 badminton, 3 swimming, 2 volleyball champs as well as 1 cricket and 1 netball star, all competing at district level and above.
It goes without saying that these are some of the nation’s most promising children with diverse skills and AIA is proud to be playing a part in their success. This year’s awards ceremony was held under the patronage of renowned Prof. Patrick Ratnayake of the Department of Fine Arts, University of Kelaniya.
So far, 525 Year 5 students have qualified for the AIA Higher Education Scholarship when they enter A/L and 350 students have already started receiving the bursary. Many of them agree that AIA’s bursary gives them the support they need to focus on their studies and the peace of mind of knowing they have financial backing from AIA.
As Dr. Isuri Basnayake from the 1996 batch said, “The AIA Scholarship helped me buy my expensive medical text books and it was a relief to not have to worry my family for money or have to do part time work which would have distracted me from my main goal of becoming a doctor! Thanks AIA”. Dr. Basnayake now works at the Karapitiya teaching hospital and is a post-graduate studying to be a Consultant Physician.