UQ finances economics opportunities for Vietnamese students

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The chance to contribute to Vietnam’s developing economy is the primary motivation for talented Vietnamese students who apply for The University of Queensland’s economics scholarship every year.

For 13 years, the School of Economics has been offering a scholarship that allows one passionate student to complete an undergraduate or postgraduate economics degree at UQ’s St Lucia campus.

Current scholarship student Thanh Thao Vy Nguyen, who heard about the scholarship opportunity through a friend, worked as a pharmacist in Vietnam before winning the scholarship to study in Brisbane.

Thao now studies health economics at UQ and volunteers at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital in her spare time. She says that having the ability to contribute to her country’s health economic system is very important to her.

“I want to work in the government sector in Vietnam to apply what I have learnt at UQ to improve the health system in Vietnam. This has a lot of meaning for me.”

Thao says the specialised PhD health economics degree she is completing at UQ is not on offer in  Universities in Vietnam and the experience is also a chance to gain real world knowledge of different health economic systems.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to see the very developed health economic system in Australia,” Thao says.

Phan Thi Thanh Nhon, an economics student at Hue University, says she has heard great things about the program at The University of Queensland and is considering applying for the scholarship after she finishes her undergraduate degree in May.

“The University of Queensland would give me knowledge that I haven’t learnt in Vietnam which would help me in my career. I think the way they teach is very different so there are a lot of things I can learn there.”

Nhon says she wishes to work in a bank in Vietnam after completing her studies, and having the experience to be educated in Australia is a valuable opportunity.

“The employees will appreciate the high quality education I would get from the University of Queensland.”

Louise West, co-ordinator of the Vietnam economics scholarship program, says that the university takes students from a developing country to offer them skills to put back into developing the economy in their home communities.

“Because Vietnam is still a developing country, students are able to come to Australia and learn about economics, then take that information back and work in Government positions and in banks.”

UQ has previously been awarded a Friendship Medal by the Government of Vietnam for the active contribution the University has made to the education and training of Vietnamese students.

Second year scholarship student Vey has made the most of her opportunity to study at UQ and is a statistics tutor for the Economics School.

Vey enjoys the student lifestyle in Australia and loves that she is able to work within the university to gain teaching experience in the classroom.

“The scholarship has been a life changing experience. I hope to continue my study and get a PhD.”

Louise West says all the scholarship students throw themselves into student life and make a valuable contribution to the University – just as they will when they take on important positions to contribute to the rising economy in Vietnam.

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Laura Walkley

Laura Walkley will graduate from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Journalism in June, 2015. Her passion for creative writing and journalism was ignited in newspaper class at high school in the US. Laura doesn't leave home without her Kindle, reads the World section of The New York Times religiously and will often be caught watching repeats of 60 Minutes. She aspires to work as a feature writer or reporter.

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