A total of 156 students will depart Vietnam from January 2012 to commence study in Australia as recipients of an Australian Development Scholarship, the Australian Embassy in Hanoi announced Thursday.
Nine students have also received a prestigious Australian Leadership Award Scholarship, according to the announcement.
Both Australian Development Scholarships and Australian Leadership Award Scholarships are provided by the Australian Agency for International Development as part of the Australia Awards scheme.
This year’s group is among the 4,000 Vietnamese that have received long-term scholarships from the Australian Government since the opening of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1973.
Australian Ambassador Allaster Cox addressed the outgoing students in Hanoi Thursday, according to the Australian Embassy.
“You have been selected because of your academic record and the contribution you can make to Vietnam’s development and I am very confident that you will do very well in your studies in Australia, like other Vietnamese students before you,” Mr. Cox was quoted as saying.
“Each of you will have the responsibility of being an ambassador of Vietnam to Australia and can thus contribute to the enduring friendship between the peoples of our two countries,” he added.
“The Australia Awards are building developing countries’ progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and I am delighted to say that Australia is now the largest provider of scholarships to Vietnam, actively contributing to Vietnam’s human resource development needs.”
The students will undertake post-graduate (Masters and PhD) studies in a diverse range of key development areas such as economics, education, environment, rural development and health at an Australian university of their choice.
Two thirds of the students are women and eight are from ethnic minorities which reflects the high priority Australia places on equity in its selection of scholarship candidates, according to the embassy.
Many of the students have undertaken up to seven months English language training in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City in order to meet the English language requirements of the Awards.
Australian Development Scholarships are for full-time study and include all tuition fees, a living allowance, airfares and health insurance. The period of study is from one year for a Masters degree and four years for a PhD.
The scholarships are funded and administered by the Australian Agency for International Development.
The next round of Australia Development Scholarships and Australia Leadership Award Scholarships will open from 1 February 2012 until 30 April 2012.