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NZ: 111 win Asia and Latin America scholarships

Over 100 New Zealanders have been awarded a scholarship for study in destinations across Latin America and Asia, it has been announced.

Colombia is one of the top choices for New Zealanders receiving the PMSLA scholarship. Photo: Pexels

The first round of scholarships was awarded to groups going to Asia and Latin America in July

The 111 students were awarded the Prime Minister’s Scholarship, which will see them travel to either Asia on the PMSA or Latin America on the PMSLA.

“The merit of our scholarship applicants continues to be impressive – we are proud to offer this opportunity for people to develop their intercultural skills, build networks and enjoy experiences abroad,” said Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao chief executive Grant McPherson.

“We know they will make us proud to have them representing New Zealand in this important time of rebuilding and reconnecting with overseas partners,” he continued.

It comes after it was announced in July that the Prime Minister’s Scholarships initiative had restarted and the first round of scholarships was awarded to groups going to destinations across Asia and Latin America, including Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Mexico.

International education advocate and managing director of Studymove, Keri Ramirez, expressed his happiness at the announcement on Twitter, calling it an “amazing effort” by the New Zealand’s education body.

In this second round, the 111 individual recipients will be in Latin America and Asia for a minimum of four weeks and six weeks respectively, with some program lasting up to two years.

The scholarships will include internship programs in business, languages, indigenous rights and sustainable development, as well as study and research programs in their destination countries, with the scholarship round totalling $1.5m.

Also a big factor in this round of scholarship recipients was the increase of participation from the Māori community.

“We are proud to offer this opportunity for people to develop their intercultural skills”

An average taken from 2016-19 of 5% for PMSA and 8% for PMSLA is routinely listed, but in this round, that average increased by 17% for PMSA and 9% for PMSLA, meaning Māori students made up almost a quarter of PMSA recipients.

While countries across Latin America and Asia are included in the destination lists, Chile and Colombia were the most popular destinations in Latin America, and Japan and South Korea were listed as the most picked in Asia.

“Interest for this program continues to grow, building collective skills and understanding of different cultures helps our country show leadership in matters of significance for Asia and Latin America regions,” McPherson added.

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