A record 405 professionals drawn from 28 African countries will commence their Masters and PhD studies at Australian universities at the beginning of this year, as part of the Australia Awards program. They include 386 Masters and 19 Agricultural PhD Awardees. The awards are spread across a range of fields, including Agriculture and Food Security, Health, Mining and Natural Resource Management, Public Policy, and Water and Sanitation.
Unathi Sihlahla from South Africa, who will be studying for a Masters of Social Change and Development at the University of Newcastle, said: “I am very excited about this scholarship opportunity. Australia is high up there in terms of natural resources management. I am really looking forward to interacting with the experts that have managed to conserve their environment to what it is today.”
While the Masters and PhD awards in 2013 have been allocated across 28 countries, some of the countries receiving especially high numbers of scholarships include Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
“As the Australian Government, we are extremely delighted with the calibre of Awardees who will begin their studies in 2013 and are confident that they are going to play a major role in accelerating development in their respective countries and respond to the Millennium Development Goals when they return,” said Jamie Isbister, Minister Counsellor, Development Cooperation (Africa) of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).