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49 Lao Students receive Australian Scholarships

49 high-achieving Lao students today received Australia Awards Scholarships at a ceremony in Vientiane presided over by Hon Dr Andrew Southcott MP, the head of an Australia Parliamentary delegation.

The scholars, who will begin their studies in 2016, will join a prestigious group of over 1,200 Lao citizens who have studied in Australia under the Australia Awards program and returned to Laos with world-leading tertiary qualifications. 

Dr Southcott, who is leading a delegation from the Australian Federal Parliament to Malaysia, Cambodia and the Lao PDR, told the audience Australia Awards Scholarships were an important part of Australia’s development cooperation program in Laos, to develop human resources in education, rural development, trade and natural resource management.

“For over 50 years, Australia has supported Lao PDR’s best and brightest to study at Australia’s world-class universities. Many of these people now occupy important positions in the Lao PDR and are helping to shape the country’s future,” Dr Southcott said.

He said that through study and research, these 49 high-achieving individuals would develop the skills and knowledge to drive change in the Lao PDR, and help build enduring people-to-people links with Australia.

“You have already demonstrated academic excellence, and undergone a highly competitive and rigorous selection process to be chosen for these prestigious awards,“ Dr Southcott told the awardees.

“In Australia, you will have the chance to further develop your leadership qualities and academic skills, and develop potentially invaluable professional networks in your chosen fields,” he said.

Australia Awards scholarships in Laos are managed on behalf of the Australian Government by the Laos Australia Institute, in partnership with Vientiane College.  Further information about Australia Awards can be found at www.australiaawards.gov.au  or www.laosaustraliainstitute.org