Australia’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Andrew Barnes has expressed his delight at the high numbers of Ghanaians that get to benefit from the government of Australia’s flagship award scheme.
The scheme, Australia Awards is a scholarship offered to Ghanaians and other nationals from African countries who have excelled in their undergraduate studies and have few years of experience in the chosen field.
His Excellency Andrew Barnes noted that the scheme is arguably the best of its kind in the country and observed that since 2011 it has benefitted about 363 Ghanaians.
Explaining the models of the scholarship he disclosed that the Award has a 2-year Masters programme and a 3-6 months short course programme.
The programmes he detailed were fashioned out to cater for areas that are critical for development such as Agriculture, Public Policy and Good Governance, Health and Extractives.
The High Commissioner highlighted that in 2018, 21 Ghanaian professionals qualified to benefit from the Masters scholarships and 26 applicants also received the Award to study courses in Australia and across Africa.
“Since 2011, 363 Ghanaians have been awarded scholarships to study in Australia under the study in Australia programme. It also covers quite a number of countries in Africa but in West Africa, Nigeria and Ghana are the focus of that programme.
The Australia Awards scholarship programme has two components. One is the 2-year Masters programme and the other is the Short Course programme.
These are really development scholarships so intrinsic to it is the return of service that the scholarship beneficiaries must come back to their countries and give back to their countries all the knowledge that they have learnt in Australia whether its directly through implementing a return to work programme that the Australia
Awards scholarship programme has or just in a more general sense the knowledge and skills they have learnt from their studies” Andrew Barnes emphasised in a meeting with journalists.
2018 applications open
The 2018 application round for the Australia Awards according to a press release by the Australian Embassy in Ghana began on September 1, 2018, and is expected to end on December 3 for Masters applicants and 15th January 2019 for Short Courses applicants.
The press release also indicated a series of workshops to be organised across the country to sensitise prospective professionals and the public on the nuances of the scholarship scheme.
In Kumasi the free public information sessions and practical application workshop are taking place from September 3-7 2018, at the Golden Bean Hotel and other institutions whiles in Accra it is taking place from the 4th to 7th of September, 2018.
Andrew Barnes cautioned prospective applicants of the competitive nature of the process which makes it distinct from others but hinted that with the right documentation and qualification, Ghanaians stand a chance of being selected as there is no capping for numbers to be chosen.
He was speaking at a media briefing organised at his residence to interact with the media and give updates on Australia Awards scholarship.