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Students awarded Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia

Students awarded Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia

Four University of Waikato students have been selected to study at top education institutions in Asia in the latest round of Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA).

Management and law student Ryan Vernall has been awarded a six-week summer school exchange to the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Law student Jasmine Retief has an exchange to the Shanghai International Studies University for one semester studying law and Chinese language papers. Arts student Aaron Stewart will be heading to Japan on an Asian studies programme for one semester to Kansai Gaidai University, and management student Jessica Clark will be taking part in a Chinese business programme for one semester at the Renmin University of China.

As well as the four individual scholarships, two group applications have also been granted. A group of seven from the Faculty of Law will attend a six-week course at the Shanghai International Studies University, and a group of 17 from the Waikato Management School will attend a six-week language, culture and business exchange to Zhejiang International Studies University and Zhejiang Yuexiu University of Foreign Languages in Hangzhou, China.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones says the high number of scholarships awarded to Waikato University - 28 of the total 103 awarded - are a testament to the high calibre of its students.

“It shows how highly regarded we are internationally that our students are welcomed by these educational institutions in Asia,” Professor Jones says.

“The students are ambassadors for our university overseas, and the experience gives them an international perspective as well as enhancing New Zealand’s reputation. We’re always proud to send students on exchanges which strengthen our links with Asia.”

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says the scholarships, which were announced by Prime Minister John Key in Parliament on 19 May, enable more New Zealanders to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures in countries that are crucial to New Zealand’s future.

“New Zealanders need the skills, knowledge and experience to prosper in the global economy, and in particular with our key trading partners in Asia,” says Mr Joyce. “Each scholarship allows Kiwi students to experience what it’s like to operate in a different country and culture, and build all-important people-to-people links.”

The scholarships cover overseas study, research or internships ranging from six weeks to two years at undergraduate or postgraduate levels at top institutions in China, Japan, Korea, India and ASEAN countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.

Funding of $9 million over five years was provided in Budget 2013 for the Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia as part of the Government’s In ternationally Focused Growth Package. In the inaugural PMSA announced in December 2013, three Waikato University students were awarded scholarships.

Applications are now open for the next round of scholarships and close on 28 September 2014.


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