Asean and EU launch major scholarship program for Southeast Asian students
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Asean and EU launch major scholarship program for Southeast Asian students

SOUTHEAST ASIAN undergraduates can now apply to study for a semester in a leading university in the Asean or European Union regions via a scholarship programme run by the two regional blocs.

The application period is from Sept 13 until Oct 11 and the fourth batch of the EU Support to Higher Education in Asean Region (SHARE) scholarships will run from December 2017 to August 2018, the Jakarta Post reported. It will cover tuition fees, visa costs and return airfare, among others.

The short-term scholarships aim to empower talented students in their chosen careers, as well as exchange insights and experiences, according to Asean socio-cultural community deputy secretary-general Vongthep Arthakaivalvate.

“An effective regional higher education system centred on a robust scholarship scheme for students is a key element in promoting people connectivity,” Vongthep said.

Enhanced student mobility is a priority as stated in the Asean Work Plan on Education 2016-2020 and the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Higher Education.

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As many as 171 full scholarships have been awarded to previous batches of scholarship recipients, which come from 32 Asean universities in eight member states. There will be 175 scholarships available this time around.

According to EU ambassador to Asean Francisco Fontan Pardo, the scholarships are “life-changing opportunities” for Asean students.

“In Europe, the Erasmus Plus program has taught us in the past 30 years how important studying abroad is for individual careers as well as building a regional community,” Fontan said.