News on Sunday met with Australian High Commissioner Ms Susan Coles who talked more about the Australian Education and Australia Awards offered to Mauritians.
The Australian High Commission marked its presence at the grand exhibition of the Salon du Prêt-à-Partir. The staff and Australian Alumni shared information on Australian Universities, Australian Awards Scholarships and Student Visas with the public. In Mauritius since March 2014, the Australian High Commissioner Ms Susan Coles, gave us an exclusive interview. The High Commissioner highlighted that the main connection between Australia and Mauritius is through education.
Speaking about the Australian Masters Rewards, which requires the awardee to return to his country and current employment following the completion of the award, Ms Susan Coles pointed out that the objective is ‘development’. “It is not a normal master’s degree. The focus here is on development. The awardee must come back for the development of the country… For example those in the ocean/marine management can help in the development of Mauritius’s ocean economy following completion of the award.” Ms Susan Coles however pointed out that the scholarship is open for 11 African countries. “It is a highly competitive scholarship but Mauritians are successfully getting those awards,” she revealed.
Deeptee Bungaree, Australia Award and Alumni Ambassador, present at the Australian booth, highlighted that the Master’s award helps professionals to move upscale and develop their skills. Being herself a former Australian student, the young professional trusts that Australia is like a home country for Mauritians. “There is a world of difference between studying in the UK and Australia. Australia has a more holistic approach and has the best resources. In addition Australia and Mauritius have a lot in common.
Australia and Mauritius are both found in a tropical region, weather, context, agriculture. The country also has island features that are specific to Mauritius. Students going there would not feel alienated. Regarding the Africa Fellowship Award which is a short-term training for professionals, Australian High Commissioner Ms Susan Coles explained that it is a golden opportunity for those who have family or work constraints. “This award is a booster for those professionals. They can refresh their skills and acquire new qualities and keep up to date with what’s happening in their field.” Ms Coles confided that single mothers from Seychelles have highly benefited from the Fellowship Award as well as Masters Award. “Single mothers can study in Australia as facilities are given. For example we have child care centres on campus.”
Australian High Commissioner seized the opportunity to point out also that the fellowship scholarship is a full fledge one which includes accommodation, medical insurance and other benefits. The Ambassador emphasized also that all awards encourage the participation of women and people with disabilities. “Australian awards target equal participation by women and men. Applications from women are strongly encouraged. People must also rest assured that Australia is one of those countries which has all support to welcome people with a disability,” explained Ms Coles. High Commission address: 2nd Floor, Rogers House, 5 President John Kennedy St, Port Louis - Telephone: 202 0160 - Fax: 208 8878
The Australian Award for Africa
Since 2011, nationals from Mauritius have been sponsored by the Australian Government through the Australia Awards to Study in Australia. Applicants from Mauritius are eligible to apply for Masters and Africa Fellowships Awards.
The Masters Awards lasts for not more than two years. Priority fields for Mauritius are Agriculture/Food Security, Infrastructure, Natural Resource Management (incl. environment, climate change, urban water management and ocean/marine management), Public Policy (incl. national and municipal public policy, finance management, public sector reform, public private partnerships, trade and international diplomacy.
The target group for this Master’s degree is early or mid-career professional working in the Public Sector, the Private Sector or a Non-Government Organisation (civil society). To apply for the Master Awards you must be 25 and not more than 50 years of age, you must have at least three years relevant post graduate work experience, you must possess as a minimum a Bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent) from a recognised institution with a 2nd Class Lower Division pass (2:2), you must not already hold, or be studying for, a Masters degree and you must be willing to make a formal commitment to return to your current employment following completion of the award.
Note that applications from women are strongly encouraged, and mechanisms are in place to support women applicants and Awardees. It is also important to know that people with a disability are given fair and equal opportunity to compete for and obtain a scholarship. Applications from people with a disability are strongly encouraged as well. Applications for the Master courses are open and will be closed on 12 December 2014. Interested applicatants from Mauritius and Rodrigues are invited to attend a special information session on Monday 10th November at Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, Caudan, Port Louis.
Africa Fellowship Awards
This award lasts for not more than three months. It is eligible for people who have family commitments, businessman with work constraints and others. To apply for the Africa Scholarship Award you must have at least three years’ post-graduation work experience in a relevant policy, practice, research or reform role. Priority fields for this award are Agriculture and Public Policy. Those two fields are very specific to Mauritius. The Agriculture section aims at increasing the development and impact of agricultural research, bio security and practice, etc. The Public Policy field targets the development of Diplomacy and negotiating skills, trade policy and negotiations, ocean governance and sustainable fisheries, and so on. For more information visit the website www.australiaawardsafrica.org. Note that the closing date for application is 16th January 2015.
Australian Alumni : Association Mauritius
The Australian Alumni Association Mauritius, created on April 1997, was revived in September this year by Hon. Julie Bishop, Australia’s Foreign Minister. The official launch of the Australian Alumni Association Mauritius took place on September 14 in the presence of many Australian Alumni, Alumni President Dr. Nalini Luckheenarain, Committee members, new and former Australian Awards Alumni. The objective of AAA is to encourage and foster ties among Mauritian students who have studied in Australian institutions in any manner deemed suitable by the Association namely by organizing talks and seminars and by providing a forum for gatherings and exchanges in conjunctions with the Australian High Commission.
The association also promotes the benefits of the Australian educational experience at all levels by, inter alia informing prospective students about the particularities of the Australian education system, providing career guidance to students interested in engaging in higher studies in Australia, and encouraging students in secondary schools in Mauritius to think in terms of proceeding to Australia for higher studies.
Mauritius already has a hundred alumni. Membership to the Australian Alumni Association Mauritius is open to any person of age 18 and above who have studies in any Australian Institutions of Higher Education or who can produce documentary evidence of studies in Australia. To become a member of the Australian Alumni Association Mauritius, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Facebook on Australian Alumni.