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AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION
Australian scholarships to meet Pakistan’s development priorities
The Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Mr Timothy George, today launched a new phase of the AusAID Pakistan Scholarships program.
The program has been redesigned in consultation with the Government of Pakistan to increasingly align its objectives with Pakistan’s development priorities. Future awards will focus in particular on: maternal, neonatal and child health; basic education; rural development and food security; and governance.
A revised selection process includes specific measures to ensure gender equity and that scholarships are accessible to people living with disabilities. Candidates from Balochistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and North West Frontier Province will be particularly encouraged to apply.
Target candidates include policy-makers, practitioners and advocates in government and civil society organisations. At the completion of their studies, scholars will return to Pakistan to contribute to the development of the country. Many previous scholarship holders have become leaders in government, the private sector and non-government organisations.
The High Commissioner noted that the new design builds on the success of the scholarships program to date, providing a greater focus on Pakistan’s development priorities in its least developed regions. “These scholarships will continue to provide Pakistani professionals with the tools to drive change and influence development outcomes in Pakistan as well as help forge enduring people to people linkages between our two countries”.
The new phase of the AusAID Pakistan Scholarships program will also see the establishment of an Alumni network of returned scholars. A number of these Alumni attended this morning’s launch. Ms Mahajabeen Qazi, Area Coordinator for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation in NWFP, credited her professional journey from mid to higher level management to her studies at the University of Newcastle in Social Change and Development. Ms Foiza Naseem has been applying the knowledge gained through her studies in Education Management at the University of Western Australia to her current role working in teacher education with the Academy for Educational Development.
Last month 51 Pakistani recipients of AusAID scholarships traveled to Australia to commence their studies at universities throughout the country. In March 2010 the next round of scholarships will be advertised throughout Pakistan inviting applications for 45 Masters level awards to study at Australian universities.
In September 2009 the Australian Prime Minister announced a further expansion of AusAID’s scholarships program in Pakistan, with 100 additional scholarships specifically focused on agricultural studies to be awarded over four years.
18 February 2010
Media contact: Mr James McGarry, Public Affairs. 051 835 5500