Australian scholarships to be cut
The number of scholarships provided by the government of Australia to Laos is likely to be cut in the co ming years, a senior government official has said.
This year the number has dropped from the 40-50 scholarships previously provided each year to 30 scholarships, Director General of the Department of Student Affairs under the Ministry of Education and Sports, Professor Dr Khamlusa Nouansavanh, said on Thursday.
The Laos-Australia Institute, which is in charge of the selection of Lao students for Australian scholarships, has been informed of the policy change, he told Vientiane Times.
In 2 014, the government of Australia provided 40 scholarships to Lao nationals, making Australia the fifth largest provider of scholarships to Laos after Vietnam, China, Thailand and Japan respectively, according to statistics pro vided by the department.
Vietnam has been the largest provider of scholarships to Laos in recent years and last year provided 450 scholarships, followed by China with 81 and Thailand with 74, while Japan offered 48 scholarships.
The gov ernments of 17 countries provided 788 government-to-government scholarships to Laos last year. It is expected that the number of scholarships provided to Laos in 2015 will be the same as last year, Prof. Dr Khamlusa said.
Overall, some 5,070 Lao nationals attended educational programmes in 32 countries last year. These included people on government-to-government scholarships, self-financed courses, and self-sought scholarships. Of these, 4,111 were students, 958 were officials and one was a monk.
The programmes ranged from doctorate decrees to courses within the compulsory formal education system, according to statistics.
Prof. Dr Khamlusa said officials in charge are in the process of centralising the management of scholarships to ensure they are allocated in line with the country's human resource development needs.
He said that, in some cases, provinces had sent students and officials for courses abroad without informing the ministry and the training had not been incorporated into the ministry's human resource development database.
The lack of centralised information makes it difficult to match human resource development with actual labour demand, he said.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update August 29, 2015)