Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
July 20, 2010 (CUOPM)
As many as 60 scholarships will be available to St. Kitts and Nevis nationals and other CARICOM nationals through the Australian Awards International Scholarship Programme.
That is according to the Australian High Commissioner and Plenipotentiary Representative of Australia to the Caribbean Community, His Excellency Mr. Philip Kentwell.
He explained during a recent interview with a Barbados newspaper that the Awards Programme forms part of the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between Australia and the 15-member CARICOM grouping under a four-year development partnership.
“We are looking at 60 scholarships over the next four years and the scholarships are in the post-graduate level and fellowships are for shorter term exchanges for up to 6 months. In the latter case, we will look for an Australian institution to sponsor someone from a Caribbean country, so that they can go down on exchange to develop their skills,” he said.
The High Commissioner added that while traditionally education donors and sources made available to the Caribbean countries were mainly from North America and to a lesser extent, Europe, the Australian Government believes that they are well placed to offer training to Caribbean nationals as well and in areas that will help the development of the individual countries and the region and as a whole.
“Australia is an island country and Australia has tertiary institutions that are focusing on small island country issues and I think it would be really wonderful if that competitive advantage that Australia may have on small island state issues, would be an advantage and we would get applications from the Caribbean,” he said.
The High Commissioner said that he is confident that the Awards Programme, once it gets underway, would without a doubt help to forge links between Australian institutions and institutions here in the Caribbean. He suggested that such partnerships are strong and that both parties should capitalise on the mid-to long- term benefits that will be derived from the development partnership.