The Australian government is continuing its support for local students to further their education by studying at the National University of Laos (NUOL) this year.
The support comes from the Laos Australia National Scholarships (LANS) Programme, focusing on helping poor students around the country.
This year, about 52 scholarship awardees will join over 280 other students currently pursuing undergraduate degrees. Another 20 scholarships were presented to students from northern Laos last month, who will complete their LANS degrees at Souphanouvong University in Luang Prabang province.
Australia’s Ambassador to Laos, Mr John Williams, speaking yesterday before the LANS congratulations ceremony, said the programme sought to provide a chance for high-performing high school leavers from regional Laos to complete quality university degrees.
He said the LANS programme, currently in its sixth year, covered not only tuition costs and living expenses, but a separate Academic Support Programme to build study and life skills, including intensive English language training.
Through LANS, Australia is delighted to be able to help young, talented Lao men and women from a number of provinces to gain the knowledge, skills and qualifications they need to build rewarding and productive careers, he said.
The 52 new scholars, including 26 women, were selected from hundreds of school leavers entering the National University this year. They are keen to pursue careers in science, education, law, business, agriculture and the environment – all areas vital for the economic development of Laos, he added.
It’s hoped in the future LANS graduates will be able to compete and win selection for Australia Awards and other quality international scholarships programmes to complete higher degrees overseas and build even stronger skills to support Laos’ development.
Vice President of National University of Laos, Ms Somchanh Bounphanmy, said every year, Australia offered scholarships to students from remote districts for tertiary study at the NUOL and Souphanouvong University.
LANS covers tuition fees, a monthly stipend, home travel, extra tuition and other university costs. She said young people’s education was about personal development, improving social skills and opening up minds to new horizons and possibilities while determining the path they will eventually take in their professional lives.
It’s also about determining where you will make your mark in life. How you can rise to the personal challenges you set yourself. And how you can contribute something back to the Lao PDR and its socio-economic development, not least in your home districts or provinces, she added.
Source: Vientiane Times