“You are starting your journey as ambassadors – ambassadors for yourself, for your family, for your province and for your country,” said Ms Roberts.
Of the 33 New Zealand Scholarships awarded, 21 are for study at institutions in Aotearoa/New Zealand, while a further 12 are for study at Pacific institutions.
Cypriano Nuake from SITESA highlighted the role tertiary education plays in developing the capacity of Solomon Islanders to meet the skills and labour demands of the county.
“Education gives people critical skills and tools to help them better provide for themselves and their children. Education helps people work better and create opportunities for sustainable and viable economic growth now and into the future,” he said.
The High Commissioner emphasised that New Zealand is a long term partner of the Solomon Islands and education is a key sector where New Zealand has an enduring commitment to support the capacity development of Solomon Islanders.
She explained that New Zealand offers scholarships in sectors that are aligned to the development needs and labour demand of Solomon Islands. This year, students will commence study in subject areas including economics, disaster risk reduction, environmental studies, education and public health.
Ms Roberts encouraged students to embrace the opportunity to study hard, to enjoy their time living overseas, and to bring their new skills and knowledge back home to their communities.
“Education helps us grow our people and create opportunities for ourselves. You are embarking on a new journey to gain new knowledge. But bring it home, and bring it home well,” she said.
Applications for the 2021 New Zealand Scholarships intake will open on 1 February 2020 and will close at 10am on Friday 28 February 2020. More information can be found at: www.nzscholarships.govt.nz