By EREBIRI ZURENUOC
THE Australian Consulate-General in Lae brought together potential students and Australia’s leading universities during the Austrade Education Road Show held recently.
The consul-general Paul Murphy said the road show was “aimed at encouraging more Papua New Guineans to study in Australia.”
“Australian Universities receive many students each year from around the world, but only a few of these are Papua New Guineans,” Murphy said.
“Australian qualifications are highly regarded in PNG and people with them can come back and contribute significantly to the country,” he said.
The road show also engaged the Lae Chapter of the PNG Australia Alumni Association.
“The association adds value to an Australian education, providing career development and networking opportunities,” Murphy said.
“To enhance this, the Australian Consulate-General has been supporting events bringing alumni and business together to the benefit from both,” he said.
“The road show enabled businesses to talk to University representatives about how the New Colombo Plan (NCP) works and how it could benefit them.
He said NCP supports Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the Indo-Pacific region.
“The Australian Government has invested an initial commitment of $100 million of fund for the Plan, with 17,500 students studying abroad so far.
“It includes flexible “mobility grants” for both short and longer term study, with priorities to fund internships, mentorships and research,” he said.
“The NCP is a long-term investment in the future of Australia.
He said for students, the NCP is an opportunity for transformational overseas learning experiences: to create bonds of friendship and build their understanding and increase employability.
“For Australian Universities – the NCP is supporting new and strengthened partnerships.”
“For the private sector – the NCP is building a more Indo-Pacific literate workforce and over time will help Australian business to be more competitive in the region,” he said.
He said companies can have the Australian government support a prospective young employee to do an internship, and may then later choose to employ them in their operations.
By EREBIRI ZURENUOC