Five Bhutanese have been awarded the New Zealand Development Scholarships (NZDS) to pursue their postgraduate studies under the New Zealand Aid Programme.

A press release from the New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi, India stated the awardees were chosen for their strong academic ability, leadership qualities, and their commitment to contribute to their country’s development.

The NZDS for Bhutan were re-established after New Zealand’s foreign minister Murray McCully, visited Bhutan in August 2014 where Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, then foreign minister Rinzin Dorje and Minister McCully agreed on the valuable contribution these scholarships make. Under a dedicated bilateral programme, New Zealand will offer up to twelve postgraduate scholarships over a five-year period.

“We look forward to these students being successful in their studies and adding to the skilled and capable alumni of New Zealand universities contributing to Bhutan’s development,” New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Grahame Morton said. “The alumni make a valuable contribution to our people-to-people links and build a deeper understanding between our two countries, cultures and values.”

The financial support offered through these scholarships includes full tuition costs, a fortnightly living allowance, an establishment allowance, medical and travel insurance, travel to and from their home country at the start and end of their scholarship, home leave or reunion travel for some students, and assistance with research and thesis costs for most postgraduate research students.