Australian scholarships launch draws crowd of young hopefuls
The launch of the 2016 Australia Awards for Laos this week drew more than 300 interested people, all hopeful of gaining a scholarship to study in Australia.
The event took place in Vientiane and was hosted by the Laos-Australia Institute to provide information about the Australia Awards Scholarship for government officials and the general public.
The Australia Awards are part of the Australian aid programme to Laos. In the last two decades, more than 1,200 Lao citizens have returned with Australian qualifications under the scholarship scheme, according to a statement from the Laos-Australia Institute.
During the session, the audience heard from a recent graduate, Ms Vena Ngonvorarath, who advised applicants to prepare themselves for the scholarship and, when in Australia, to commit themselves to study.
Ms Vena, who earned a Master of Commerce in Macroeconomics from the University of Sydney, said “The knowledge and experience I gained can be applied to my work in the social and economic development of my country. I am very thankful to the Australian government for this opportunity.”
Laos-Australia Institute's Scholarships Manager, Ms Davone Bounpheng, gave a presentation on how to apply for the Australia Awards, saying “We are looking for the best candidates who are qualified, have relevant experience and can make a contribution to the development of Laos on their return.”
“It is important to remember that scholarship applications are assessed independently, are awarded on merit and that candidates need to demonstrate that they meet all the selection criteria,” Ms Davone added.
Following the presentation, members of the audience asked questions about how to apply, how awardees are selected and advice on choosing a course and level of study.
Director of the Laos-Australia Institute, Mr Bill Pennington, said that application forms are available from the Australia Awards website, from the Laos-Australia Institute, Vientiane College and from the personnel departments of government ministries and provincial education offices.
“It costs nothing to apply, and the experience of study in Australia can be life changing,” he said.
Mr Pennington said an Australian Education Exhibition would be held at the Mercure Hotel in Vientiane on March 10. The exhibition allows applicants to discuss their intended study programmes with representatives of Australian universities who will be visiting Laos.
The audience was also reminded that Australia Awards applications close on March 25.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 13, 2016)