Ten students are about to embark on an Asian adventure that will see them take up positions at Bhu:sattva, a leading eco fashion company or Jaipur Rugs, an international award-winning knotted rug company to learn global approaches to design business within a sustainable practice framework.

These students are among 180 New Zealanders to have been awarded the prestigious Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA).

Education Minister Chris Hipkins congratulated the students from across New Zealand before they travel to destinations including Korea, China, India and Singapore to study, carry out research or undertake an internship.

Among the recipients are 60 individual awardees, who are at tertiary level or have recently graduated. These people will carry out programmes that span six weeks to two years.

The individual PMSA awards include:

  • An eight-week medical elective for ophthalmology and dermatology at the Seoul National University Hospital,
  • A two-year Master’s degree at Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea with a focus on development co-operation, and
  • A four-month internship with the Asia Internship Program (AIP) in Singapore, a leading social enterprise.

A total of $1,443,448 was awarded this round for 2017/18 covering both individual and group awardees.

The scholarship programme is funded by the New Zealand Government and administered by Education New Zealand (ENZ). The PMSA has been running for five years. PMSLA awards offering similar support for learning experiences in Latin America, launched in 2016. Second round 2018/19 PMSLA awardees will be announced shortly.

To date, there have been 1,543 PMSA and PMSLA awardees. The scholarship covers study and internship costs and makes a significant contribution to travel and accommodation expenses.

“The PMSA has been an important factor behind the increased number of domestic students looking to further their education in Asia though exchange programmes. This is a real shift for New Zealand – previously students tended to look at English-speaking destinations for these experiences,” says Hipkins.

“The PMSA enables talented Kiwi students to enjoy unique experiences living and studying in Asia at a formative time in their lives.

“Students having learning experiences in Asia also benefits us at a national level – it means New Zealand is growing the collective skills and cultural understanding required to make a mark on the global stage and show leadership in matters of significance to the Asian region,” he says.

The deadline for the first round for 2018/19 for PMSA and PMSLA will be announced shortly. More information on the application process can be found here. ENZ encourages those looking at group applications to get in touch to discuss the proposed programme in advance of applying.

The PMSA recipients’ names from the second 2017/18 round are here.

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