Filipino scholars to drive development initiatives in government agencies
Filipino recipients of Australian postgraduate scholarships have successfully completed their studies and are returning to drive and re-energize development initiatives in their home government agencies, including the Departments of Education, Interior and Local Government, and the Civil Service Commission.
As part of the condition of their scholarships, recipients are required to complete a “Re-Entry Action Plan” (REAP) using their Australian education.
The REAP is a unique feature of the scholarship program, which aims to enable Australia Awards scholars to develop and implement meaningful development programs upon their return to the Philippines.
The vast majority of the returning scholars are from the government sector, including 15 agencies with mandates directly linked to achieving the shared development priorities of the Australian and Philippine governments.
The Filipino scholars attended various Australian universities to complete postgraduate studies in the fields of education, governance, environment, finance, and human resource management, among others, in Australia’s premier academic institutions. Australia is home to 8 of the top 100 academic institutions in the world.
Speaking to the returning scholars during the recent REAP Conference, Geoff King, the Australian Embassy’s Counsellor for Governance and Disaster Risk Reduction, highlighted the importance of the REAPs: “The re-entry action plans are important because they help you put into practice what you have learned and they help your agencies benefit in specific ways.”
King said the REAP is an innovative initiative, and “the Philippines is recognised in our global scholarship program as the leading entity in the implementation of REAPs.”
Addressing the scholars, King said “From now on we consider you ambassadors for the Australian scholarship program here in the Philippines, and I have no doubt you’re going to go on and do amazing things with the skills and knowledge you learned through the Australia Awards Scholarships.”
Speaking on behalf of the government sector, Civil Service Commission Chairman Francisco Duque III encouraged the scholars to stay committed and passionate as they finish their REAPs and make significant development contributions to the Philippines.
“We hope that this REAP conference will not only give you the tools you need to execute your REAP, but also help you renew your commitment to the goals of the scholarship program and develop your passion for driving development in the Philippines,” he said.
Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships funded by the Australian Government. They offer the next generation of global leaders high-quality education and professional development experiences that enable them to contribute to the development of their countries.
Applications for Australia Awards Scholarships 2015 intake will open on February 1, 2014 to August 31, 2014. For more information on Australia Awards Scholarships visit www.australiaawardsphilippines.org or email the Australia Awards Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.