50 Lao citizens to study in Australia under Australian scholarships

Introduction: Scholarships have been awarded to 50 Lao citizens to study in Australia with the Australian Embassy in Vientiane holding a congratulatory ceremony for the new recipients.

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Story: The ceremony took place in Vientiane, presided over by Australia’s Minister of Education, Christopher Pyne and Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Madame Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun with other students attending.

Christopher Pyne said the Australia Awards are invaluable in providing professional development opportunities for future leaders in developing countries. According to him, this programme is an important part of Australia’s overseas development work in the Lao PDR and across the Asia-Pacific region. Australia Awards alumni are already well represented in senior government roles in the Lao PDR. He said, through study and research, the Australia Awards recipients would develop the skills and knowledge to drive change and help build enduring people-to-people links with Australia.

The Australian Government confers up to 50 Australia Awards scholarships for Lao citizens each year to complete undergraduate or postgraduate degrees, or technical and vocational training courses, in Australia. At least half the awards are conferred on Lao women.

The recipients will join a select group of over 1,100 other Lao citizens who have studied in Australia under the Australia Awards scholarships programme and returned to Laos with world-renowned tertiary qualifications.

The scholarships are a central and long-standing part of Australia’s AU$60 million annual aid programme in the Lao PDR, which focuses on education and human resource development, rural development, unexploded ordinance (UXO) clearance, trade and investment, and natural resource management.

Each of the 50 Lao awardees demonstrated academic excellence and has undergone a highly competitive and rigorous selection process to earn a scholarship.

Globally, over 4,500 sc holars and fellows from more than 140 countries each year undertake study, research and professional development through the Australia Awards, with around half studying at Australian universities.

Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on September 19, 2014