Australia and India have both announced scholarships to Maldivian students, which President Mohamed Nasheed has said will “fill a huge gap in our human resource needs”.
Australia has doubled the number of scholarships offered to the Maldives, offering a total of 31 scholarships under the ‘Australia Awards’ program, with a total value of AUD$4.1 million. Six students have been awarded an Australian Leadership Award Scholarship (ALAS), while the remaining students have been awarded Australian Development Scholarships (ADS).
“If we didn’t get these we would have to spend amazing amount of funds,” President Nasheed said, while Australian High Commissioner to the Maldives and Sri Lanka, Kathy Klugman, said while Australia had a “very long standing, a very deep and a productive relationship” with the Maldives, stating that as a result of the interactions with the Australian government by President Nasheed this year, “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.
India has also announced 37 scholarships this year for Maldivian students to institutes of higher education in the country, through the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR).
A statement from the Indian High Commission said the scholarships for Graduate/Post Graduate courses were open to all Maldivian students who have completed their A level exams and prerequisite subjects.
The High Commission noted that besides providing students placements in prestigious Indian Institutes, the scholarships also included airfares, tuition fees and a living allowance. More details available on www.iccrindia.net.
India provides approximately 90 scholarships/training slots to Maldivian citizens every year.