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Australia awards 33 new regional scholarships


MEDIA RELEASE 30 January 2013

Australia awards 33 new regional scholarships for Solomon Islanders

Thirty three new Solomon Islands students will study at regional institutions this year under Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships.

The scholarships supported by AusAID’s Australia Awards program, cover travel, health insurance, living allowances, tuition fees and university costs.
Students will study a wide range of courses at regional institutions in Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

The 33 new regional scholarships bring the total number of scholarships awarded this year to 68. These scholars will join more than 125 Solomon Islanders already studying at Australian or regional universities.

Acting Australian High Commissioner, Dr Dave Peebles said the 68 new scholarships would make 2013 the biggest year ever for the scholarship program in Solomon Islands.

“It is the largest intake of Solomon Islanders awarded Australian scholarships. We want more Solomon Islanders to have the opportunity to receive a quality higher education to build expertise and leadership skills for the benefit of the whole country,” Dr Peebles said.

“When the scholars return home after their studies, they will be able to contribute to development in Solomon Islands.”

“The scholarships are a critical part of the development partnership between Solomon Islands and Australia. As well as building the skills of individual students, they promote people-to-people links across the region.”

“This investment in the scholarships and education generally is helping the Solomon Islands Government to meet development needs of the country into the future,” Dr Peebles said.

“Australia allocated SBD$32 million (approximately A$4.3 million) this year to scholarships for Solomon Islanders, reinforcing a major investment in both education and the future of Solomon Islands.”

Former Australian Awards Alumni, Dr Alice Pollard, presented an inspiring address to the awardees, reflecting on her time as a student. She encouraged each student to “make the most of every opportunity”, and as leaders “you should put yourself ‘above the line’, striving to be best you can be”.

Dr Pollard also encouraged the awardees to enjoy themselves, and to ‘come home’ when they are finished, to help build capacity in Solomon Islands.

Student will undertake a range of courses: education, management, accounting, business, management, industrial relations, science /climate change, law, agriculture, disability and gender, engineering, physiotherapy, social work and marine science.

ends

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