New Zealand High Commission Port Vila, Vanuatu

25 ready for studies under NZ's Regional Development Scholarships program

Twenty-five students from Vanuatu are about to start their studies at Pacific regional institutions in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa under the New Zealand Regional Development Scholarships (NZRDS) program for 2012.

As described in the Joint Commitment for Development signed between Vanuatu and New Zealand in October last year, the purpose of the scholarships programme is to increase economic development through a better trained workforce.

"You will need to work hard to succeed", advised the New Zealand High Commission's Development Counsellor, Sara Carley to a dozen of the 25 recipients of the NZRDS during their pre-departure briefings this week.

Ms Carley encouraged the students to study hard and avoid distractions since success in their respective fields of study will result in success for Vanuatu.

Students were selected on their academic record and fields of study. Courses chosen by the students are expected to have the greatest impact on the development of Vanuatu. "That you have gained scholarships shows that we trust that with hard work, you will succeed in your studies and return to Vanuatu to work in your chosen field to further Vanuatu's development", Ms Carley said.

The students acknowledged the contributions of the Government of New Zealand to Vanuatu, including the scholarships program of which they are proud recipients. Juliana Sigia from Mele Village on Efate, who has been accepted to do a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Finance, said "thankyou for selecting us and sponsoring our studies. We shall do our best to come back and develop our country".

With the 25 new students starting courses this year, as well as those students who started their studies in 2010 and 2011, over 70 students from Vanuatu are now undertaking training under the NZRDS. Funds of up to $NZD 2 million have been allocated under the New Zealand Vanuatu Aid Programme this year towards the NZRDS, representing 12% of the overall programme to Vanuatu.


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