Students at the National University of Laos (Photo: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) - The Australian Government is continuing its support for education and human resources development in Laos with the award of another 52 scholarships for students from remote and disadvantaged districts to complete undergraduate degrees at the National University of Laos.

The 52 awardees will join over 280 other students currently pursuing undergraduate degrees through the Laos Australia National Scholarships (LANS) programme, according to the Lao News Agency (KPL).

Another 20 scholarships were presented to students from northern Laos last month, who will complete their LANS degrees at Luang Prabang’s Souphanouvong University.  This year’s LANS recipients come from 15 of Laos’ 17 provinces.

Australian Ambassador to Laos John Williams said the LANS programme seeks to give opportunities to high-performing high school graduates from regional Laos to complete quality university degrees.

He said the LANS programme, currently in its sixth year, covered not only tuition costs and living expenses, but a separate Academic Support Programme to build study and life skills, including intensive English language training.

“Through LANS, Australia is delighted to be able to help young, talented Lao men and women from a number of provinces to gain the knowledge, skills and qualifications they need to build rewarding and productive careers,” Williams said.

“The 52 new scholarship recipients, including 26 women, were selected from hundreds of school graduates entering the National University this year.  They are keen to pursue careers in science, education, law, business, agriculture and the environment – all areas vital for the economic development of Laos.”

Every year, Australia offers scholarships for around 75 students from remote districts for tertiary study at National University and Souphanouvong University.  LANS covers tuition fees, a monthly stipend, home travel expenses, extra tuition, and other university costs.-VNA