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Scholarships issued for Bhutanese recipients to undertake diplomas

Posted: 6 January 2020

Bhutan, Private Sector, Recipient,

Adapted from an article published in Kuensel, Bhutan’s National Newspaper, written by Tashi Dema, Australia Awards alumna and the longest serving female journalist in Bhutan.

For the first time, Australia Awards – Bhutan has offered Scholarships for diplomas. The recipients will be studying travel and tourism management and commencing their studies this year.

This new opportunity, according to Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to India and Bhutan, Mr Rod Hilton, is to support the country’s aspirations of developing capacities in technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

“Australia Awards Scholarships have traditionally supported Masters-level study in Bhutan but this year, we have been able to amend the program to support the government’s aspirations of developing the TVET sector”

“I am delighted that two very talented young women will undertake a Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management in Australia,” he said.

Mr Hilton said he is confident the two women will be further equipped to contribute towards Bhutan’s economic development through the tourism sector when they return.

“The two recipients have the potential to contribute to the improvement of livelihoods, the creation of employment opportunities, and the diversification of the economy after returning to Bhutan.”

Australia Awards offered Scholarships to 13 Bhutanese professionals in total – nine women and four men – to study in a range of disciplines in 2020.

Mr Hilton said the 13 Scholarship recipients are selected from more than 500 applicants and they are a diverse and high-achieving group of people.

“These prestigious awards will help equip you with the skills to become leaders in your communities and contribute to sustainable and equitable economic development in Bhutan.”

Image 1 (top of page): new Australia Awards recipients soon to undertake diplomas in Australia, Reebika Gurung (left) and Dechen Wangmo (right). Image 2: Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to India and Bhutan, Mr Rod Hilton, congratulates new Australia Awards recipients in Bhutan

He further explained that Australia-Bhutan’s friendship started in the early 1960s with the Colombo Plan. “Human resource capacity development in Bhutan through education remained constant throughout the cooperation.”

There are about 2,000 Bhutanese students studying in Australia and the Deputy High Commissioner said the increasing number of Bhutanese students studying in Australia through private funding is a testament to the trust and friendship between the countries.

The Commissioner of Bhutan’s Royal Civil Service Commission, Dhanapati Mishra, said as the country progresses in developmental activities, there is a need for competent and skilled human resources both in government and in the private sector. “The Scholarship is expected to equip the recipients with new skills to create a better and stronger country back home”.

The secretary of Bhutan’s Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, Sonam Wangchuk, said that human resource development, including in the private sector, is very important to Bhutan’s socio-economic development.

He said providing the Scholarships for diplomas will not only help the recipients gain skills and knowledge but exposure to, and experience with, different work cultures, which will positively contribute towards greater efficiency and productivity.

He thanked the Australian Government for the flexibility and diversification of the Australia Awards program this year. “We are happy that diploma programs in various fields will be offered henceforth based on the needs of the private sector.”

Meanwhile, Mr Hilton also presented an Alumni Award for National Leadership to former Executive Director of RENEW, Ms Tandin Wangmo, on behalf of the University of Newcastle.

Mr Rod Hilton, representatives from the Bhutanese and Australian Governments, with the new Australia Awards recipients and Australia Awards program staff