International students take their university experience home

12 July 2013

The University of Sydney and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) today congratulated 39 students from 13 countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone on completing their Australia Awards Scholarships and associated studies at the University.

The students studied areas such as public health, law, public administration, veterinary science, economics and nursing.

"Australia Awards recipients bring diversity to the international student cohort, enriching the experience of all students at the University of Sydney. They also serve as cultural and diplomatic ambassadors of the University upon their return home," Jay Jayatilaka, Acting Director of the International Office, said. Australia Awards scholars are high academic achievers in their home countries and future leaders in the development of their regions.

Their scholarships allow for coursework or research study in line with the priorities of each country, and the students receive support for living expenses, fieldwork, and attending conferences.

The completing students spoke warmly of the tireless work done by the supportive staff of the University and their experiences of studying.

"My experience at the University and Sydney Law School has been truly thrilling," said Frank Kigenza (Master of Health Law), a lawyer from Kigali, Rwanda, who grew up in a refugee camp and was selected for the prestigious Australia Awards Leadership Program.

Kigenza plans to focus on research and advocacy in public health law and policy in Rwanda and in the region. He teaches law at the National University of Rwanda and hopes to shortly take a position on the National Health Ethics Committee of Rwanda.

Ana Mustiana (Master of Veterinary Science) is a veterinarian from Indonesia and a recipient of a fellowship from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Mustiana looks forward to maintaining relationships and networks with friends and colleagues from the University and being involved in upcoming ACIAR projects in eastern Indonesia as the district veterinarian for Mataram City, Lombok. Her thesis findings on rabies infections in Lombok will be invaluable, as the spread of rabies is currently a significant issue for the Indonesian government and may impact Australia in the near future.

There are currently 238 Australia Awards Scholars at the University of Sydney, of which 75 students are Higher Degree by Research (HDR), 142 are Master's by coursework students and 21 are undertaking their very first tertiary education degree in bachelor level programs.

Mark Snowden, from the Australian Awards Office congratulated the scholars for their achievement:

"Not only does your Australia Award provide you with a world-class education, but while in Australia you have had the opportunity to build people-to-people links that will continue to provide benefits well in to the future."

Find out more about the Australia Awards Scholarship program. 

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