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UC celebrates Australia Awards students

Vanessa Lam

7 July 2017: Australia Awards scholarship students from the University of Canberra have celebrated the end of their studies with a farewell ceremony held on campus last month.

The event was attended by Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Deep Saini, who presented the 11 students with their completion certificates.

The students completed degrees including a Master of Education, Master of International Development, Master of Urban and Regional Planning and Doctor of Philosophy (Education). The Australia Awards are international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government. The awards offer high-achieving students from around the world the opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia to contribute to the long term development needs of their home countries.

Students came from Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Burundi, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste to study at the University.

Professor Saini congratulated the students on their achievement.

“These scholarships develop leadership potential and help improve our ways of thinking and of understanding different cultures and countries,” he said.

Nanda Riska from Indonesia said she was proud to complete her Doctor of Philosophy (Education), where she focused on rural education and employment.

Her husband and daughter travelled to Australia while she completed her studies.  She said she enjoyed her time at the University of Canberra and was grateful for the support services available for international students.

“I really enjoyed all the support that UC provides for international students, from how to write, to settling in and becoming familiar with not just the University, but to Canberra as well. The library in particular provided excellent services to help students complete their assignments and understand the questions we were being asked,” Mrs Riska said.

Mrs Riska said she is looking forward to returning to her home country and giving back to her community.

“My research looked at graduates from particular rural schools in my province and how they go about finding employment in the area.  So I hope to work in the development sector, working with either local or international non-governmental organisations, as long as I can contribute and apply my knowledge and skills to the area,” she said.

Vivinia Nur Arifina, also from Indonesia, studied a Master of International Development and said the day was bittersweet.

“I’m sad to leave Australia after two years, I have made a life here and new friends, but at the same time I’m also very excited because now I’ve finished my degree I have a new challenge - to be able to do something for my country,” she said.

Mrs Nur Arifina previously worked for the United Nations in the area of international development and said the course “enriched my knowledge of the development area”.

“Studying at UC was excellent.  I’m really grateful to have been able to study here in Australia,” she said.

Current Australia Awards students from the University and CIT also congratulated their fellow scholarship students with a musical performance of ‘Hero’ by Mariah Carey and ‘Lean On Me’ by Bill Withers.

There are currently more than 40 Australia Awards students from 14 different countries studying at the University.

For more information on the Australia Awards visit our website.