KATHMANDU: Australian Ambassador to Nepal Peter Budd bid farewell to recipients of the Australia Awards Scholarships for 2019 amidst a programme held here yesterday.
Altogether 29 scholarship recipients, including 13 government officials, will travel to Australia to pursue post-graduate course at different Australian universities.
This year’s scholarship recipients include 17 females and 12 males. Three of the scholarships recipients are persons with disability, the Embassy of Australia stated in a press release.
It is stated that these scholars will be studying a variety of courses under six priority sectors. All the priority sectors, where there is a recognised need for skilled workforce, were chosen in close consultation with the relevant stakeholders in the Government of Nepal, the embassy said.
For 2019, the Australian Government offered 3,186 Australia Awards scholarships, fellowships and short courses to individuals from over 55 developing countries.
Addressing the ceremony, Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi noted that six decades of partnership between the Government of Nepal and the Government of Australia had been fruitful and was evolving gradually.
Secretary Bairagi stated that Australia had been a reliable development partner of Nepal in the field of energy, education, livestock and forest management.
While expressing thanks to the Government of Australia for providing Australian Awards Scholarships to Nepali nationals, he congratulated all the scholarship recipients.
He expressed his belief that they would play a key role in Nepal’s development upon their return after completing their courses in Australia.
Bairagi also highlighted the contribution of Nepali diaspora in further strengthening Nepal-Australia relations. He shared his conviction that both countries would continue to work closely in regional and multilateral forums.
Ambassador Budd congratulated the Australia Awards recipients on their successful attainment of an Australian Awards Scholarship and reminded them that they were selected to participate in Australia Awards to make significant contribution to the development of Nepal after completing their courses.
The Australian ambassador told the scholarship recipients, “The high-quality Australian education that you will access, will assist you in positively supporting the future growth of Nepal.”
Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships, fellowships and short courses funded by the Australian Government.
They offer the next generation of global leaders an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia.
The Australia Awards program is integral to Australia’s development cooperation program both in Nepal and across the region. It is a long-standing program with over 950 development focused scholarships awarded in Nepal since the 1960s.
The next round of Australia Awards Scholarships will be announced in February 2019.
A version of this article appears in print on November 24, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.