By Michael Wilson, Minister-Counsellor (Mekong and Regional programs) AusAID, Hanoi Vietnam
Education, Infrastructure and Environment form the big picture of where, how and why we are making a difference in Vietnam.
They are areas where we have the capacity, deep understanding and track record to deliver results. The Government of Vietnam has repeatedly identified these areas as priorities for development, as it aims to grow into a higher income industrial economy and reduce poverty rates to a single digit level within the next decade.
This year alone there are almost 250 Vietnamese academics, government officials and business leaders studying at our world-class universities thanks to Australian Government scholarships.
As AusAID’s Minister-Counsellor for Mekong and Regional programs, I have been fortunate to meet some of these and many more previous recipients of Australian scholarships. To date there have been more than 3,000 alumni, stretching over 35 years, who have been invited to study in Australia as the result of the scholarships program.
Through the many conversations I have had with graduates of the program, I’ve learned of the great appreciation alumni have not only for their education, but also for the experience – both of which they share in equal measure. AusAID makes this investment in Vietnam’s human resources because it is a priority area for development, which has also been agreed on by the Governments of Vietnam and Australia.