Otago students gain Asia scholarships

Harriet Richardson brushes up on her study destination. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Harriet Richardson brushes up on her study destination. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

Seventeen University of Otago students have been awarded Prime Minister's Scholarships for Asia to continue their studies there.

A group of 12 students will attend the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics' summer school for nine weeks.

Another five students will be placed in different parts of China and in Singapore.

The Prime Minister's Scholarships are awarded to about 140 students nationally.

Harriet Richardson (22) has been selected to study at China's Hong Kong University where she intends to complete the final semester of her bachelor of commerce degree.

''I've only been to Asia once for two weeks so I'm pretty unaware of the Asian culture,'' Miss Richardson said.

''I'm really excited to find out more about how they live their lives and go about learning about business.''

As the Government was trying to motivate more people to study in Asia, she had had nothing to lose by applying for the scholarship, Miss Richardson said.

The scholarship will grant her about $200 a week and cover the costs of university fees and accommodation.

Although excited about the opportunity, Miss Richardson admitted ''the combination of homesickness and studying in a foreign country may be a struggle'' for her.

Miss Richardson's trip to China begins on September 1.

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce said the scholarships would have an enormous impact on the students as connections made through education could last a lifetime and bring a world of opportunity.

New Zealand's international education industry, valued at $2.85 billion, continues to grow and supports more than 30,000 jobs around the country.

- Ollie Ritchie 

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