Some 31 Lao students have been awarded Australia Awards scholarships to pursue higher diploma, master and doctoral degree studies in Australia from 2017.
Australia Awards Scholarships have allowed students from the government and private sectors to undertake specialised courses at Australian universities.
The awardees in the 2017 cohort will study subjects as diverse as public administration, economics, finance, community development and natural resource management. After their studies, Australia Awards scholars will return to Laos to make a significant contribution to national development.
Vice President of Laos Phankham Viphavanh and Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull yesterday congratulated this year’s Australia Awards recipients at a ceremony in Vientiane, joining Minister of Education and Sports Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun and Australia’s Ambassador to Laos John Williams.
The Australian Prime Minister also announced an expansion of programmes at the Laos Australia Institute from 2017-2021 to support human resource development.
This will include 120 new Australia Awards Scholarships, 280 scholarships for provincial high-school graduates to complete undergraduate degrees at local universities, training to civil servants in core public service competencies and English training for 50 people with a disability.
Mr. Turnbull reiterated the importance of the Australia Awards Scholarships for the Laos-Australia bilateral relationship.
Vice President Mr. Phankham Viphavanh and Mr. Turnbull took the opportunity at the awards ceremony to officially open the Laos Australia Institute and the Lao government’s Foreign Languages Resource Centre, recently renovated with Australian funding.
Ms Sengdeuane at the ceremony on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Sports welcomed the Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull for his first visit to Laos and for providing scholarships to new Australia Awards Scholarship recipients.
She added the Australian government had actively contributed to the development of human resources in Laos by providing scholarships to students, teachers and civil servants to study in Australia in different subjects, which was essential for Laos.
Lao students have studied in Australia for over fifty years, and there are over 1,200 Australian trained alumni in Laos, with many now working at senior levels of government, in teaching and research and in business. Apart from providing scholarships to study in Australia, the Australian government also provides local scholarships for students from remote and disadvantaged districts to study in state universities.
Australia also provided English training for Lao government officials through the Government of Laos Professional English Language Training Programme to build capacity of English for government officials, enabling them to connect with regional and international forums, Ms Sengdeuane said.
Source: Vientiane Times