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Bad news for applicants

Australian Endeavour Award: Bhutanese, who applied for the Australian Endeavour Award scholarship, and waited for more than six months, were disappointed to learn that they were not awarded the scholarship.

The Endeavour Award scholarship results for postgraduate award that included masters and PhD, Endeavour Research Fellowship and Endeavour VET awards were declared on the evening of December 17.  As of last evening, applicants were trying to find out if anyone had been awarded the scholarship, but had not come across anyone who had.

It is estimated that at least 2,000 Bhutanese had applied for the scholarships to study in Australia, which has become the top destination, besides India, for higher education and other reasons.

A media consultant of a private firm, who applied for a PhD scholarship, said he received calls from people, asking him if he was awarded the scholarship. “I seriously feel that the Australian government had to cut down the 2013 intake, because of fund constraints, or diverted the fund to some needy scholarship,” he said.

Comments on Sydney-based Macquire University’s online news for the international community also says applicants from Bangladesh and India also did not get the scholarships.

Officials from Australian high commission in Delhi refuted claims that no one from Bhutan got the Endeavour Award.

The head of education section, Dr Peter, said, while they do not have the authority to give details of how many Bhutanese applied and how many were awarded the scholarship, some Bhutanese have got the scholarship. “It’s an international merit-based scholarship, and this year’s scholarship was highly competitive,” he said.

Dr Peter also said there was no policy change as such, and that the scholarship was across the Asian region.

Some Bhutanese applicants said the letter of regret they received stated the fund for the scholarship had been reduced and the scholarship was highly competitive.

An unsuccessful applicant questioned why the letter, stating he didn’t get through, was dated October 24, but was received only last morning.

Some applicants said that not getting the award was not such a disappointment, because it was their third time trying.

A few applicants have not yet received confirmation on whether they have got the scholarship or not. “I’ve checked my mail 50 times,” one said last evening. “I’ve even written to them to check whether they got my correct email address.”

By Tashi Dema

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