* Students from underdeveloped areas to be encouraged to apply
Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan Timothy George on Thursday launched a new phase of the ‘AusAID Pakistan’ scholarships programme.
According to the Australian High Commission, the programme has been redesigned in consultation with the Pakistani government to align its objectives with the country’s development priorities.
Scholarships would be awarded particularly in subjects of maternal, neonatal and child health, basic education, rural development, food security and governance.
A revised selection process includes specific measures to ensure gender equality and accessibility to scholarships for disabled people. Candidates from Balochistan, FATA and NWFP would be encouraged to apply.
Policymakers, practitioners and advocates in government and civil society organisations would also be considered for the scholarships.
The high commissioner said, “These scholarships will continue to provide Pakistani professionals with the tools to drive change and influence development outcomes in Pakistan and strengthen bilateral relations.”
The new phase of the AusAID Pakistan scholarships programme would also establish an alumni network of scholars. UN Food and Agriculture Organisation Area Coordinator for NWFP Mahajabeen Qazi credited her professional journey from high-level management to her studies in social change and development at University of Newcastle. In March this year, the next round of scholarships would be advertised throughout Pakistan inviting applications for 45 masters level awards to study at Australian universities.
In September 2009, the Australian prime minister announced an expansion in AusAID’s scholarships programme in Pakistan, with 100 additional scholarships specifically focused on agricultural studies to be awarded in the next four years.