President Nasheed thanks Australian Government for Increasing Scholarships to Maldives

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President Nasheed thanks Australian Government for Increasing Scholarships to Maldives

President Mohamed Nasheed has thanked the Australian government for increasing the number of scholarships awarded to the Maldives this year.

Speaking at a reception on Monday, which was organized by Australian High Commission in Colombo in honour of this year’s scholarship recipients and Maldivian alumni of Australian universities, the President said Australian scholarships were an “excellent” bilateral aid programme, which would “fill a huge gap in our human resource needs”.

“If we didn’t get these we would have to spend amazing amount of funds,” he added

Australian High Commissioner Ms Kathy Klugman said while Australia had a “very long standing, a very deep and a productive relationship” with the Maldives, it was President Nasheed’s intervention with Australian government that scholarships were increased this year.

She also said as a result of the interactions with Australian government by President Nasheed, “we’ve just now taken [Australia-Maldives] relationship to an entirely new level”.

Following President Nasheed’s meeting with the then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Canberra earlier this year, the Australian government announced Australia’s aid programme for the Maldives, including an increased number of scholarships.

This year, Australian government more than doubled the scholarships available to Maldivians, with a total of 31 scholarships under the prestigious ‘Australia Awards’ program.

Out of these 31 scholars, 6 scholars were awarded an Australian Leadership Award Scholarship (ALAS) while the rest of 25 scholars were awarded the Australian Development Scholarships (ADS).

The 31 scholarships were valued at approximately AUD $4.1 million. This year’s intake will bring the total number of Australia Awards conferred in Maldives to 210.

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