THIRTY-THREE Malaysian students were awarded the Monbukagakusho (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan) Scholarship 2003 at the Japanese Embassy on Tuesday.
Japanese Ambassador Masaki Konishi presented the scholarships and air tickets to the students who left for Japan the same day.
This year's scholarship recipients comprised 28 postgraduate, three undergraduate and two professional training school students from various fields of study, including medicine, law, biotechnology, engineering, information science and others. Students will undergo intensive Japanese language courses as part of their studies in Japan.
In his address, Konishi encouraged the students to ''grasp every opportunity available to do well in your studies and also to learn the Japanese language and get to know the society and culture.” He added that the students have a huge responsibility as representatives of Malaysia to help promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two nations.
The embassy's First Secretary for Education, Masao Yamakawa, said more than 1,500 applications were received for the Monbukagakusho Scholarship this year.
Every year, Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology awards the scholarship to students from 140 countries around the world and places them in higher education institutions throughout Japan.
Worth over RM8mil, this year's grant covers all tuition expenses for the entire duration of the course. A monthly allowance of 180,300 yen (RM5,600) is given to postgraduate students and 139,200 yen (RM4,300) to both undergraduate and professional training school students.
Applicants are selected based on academic records, the result of an examination set by the Japanese Government, and an interview conducted by officials from the Japanese Embassy, the Public Services Department and the Education Ministry.
Scholarship recipient Chia Pau Kwee will be doing postgraduate studies in law at Niigata University.
''I want to see the outside world and experience something different because life is not just about getting a good job,'' says the 25-year-old who applied for the scholarship in June last year.
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