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Vegard Holmelid Speech

Norway praised for education scholarships

On Friday 16 February Chargé d’Affaires Vegard Holmelid had the great honor of attending the “Mahidol-Norway Scholarships: Thank you reception” at Mahidol University.

As a part of the Norwegian Government’s development policy, Norway have since 2013, in cooperation with Mahidol University, provided scholarships for in all 66 PhD candidates and 98 masters students from Myanmar, and other developing countries in the ASEAN-region. Scholarships has been offered to carefully selected students from Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR and the Philippines.

Vegard Holmelid said in his speech that “Sustainable development is an overall goal of both Norway’s development policy and these projects.(…) We know – all of us here know - that education is essential for sustainable development.  The later success of the students therefore will impact on the future sustainable development in this region”.

The recipients of the scholarships studies in a broad selection of academic fields. The list includes sciences and health, social and population science, human rights and peace studies & disability studies, environmental sciences and engineering. One of the many recipients that held a speech, PhD candidate Khin Phyu Pyar Htoo, offered her gratitude to for what she called a “life changing opportunity”. And most importantly, she highlighted how her education would enable here to contribute in the development of her home country Myanmar:  

“Due to this scholarship program, we have opportunities to study for Ph.D. degree in Medical Technology and we have chances to undertake local Ph.D. degree program in Medical Technology in Myanmar. […] I am sure that I can apply the knowledge and technologies that I studied here to improve the quality of Medical Technology field, which can also help to improve health care system in my country, Myanmar”.

The Norwegian Embassy would like to congratulate all graduate students for their hard work, and wish them all the best in their future. We encourage them to work hard and contribute to their societies positive development.

The Norwegian Embassy would also especially thank Mahidol University for a very good and strong partnership in making this collaboration a success.  


The Norwegian Government’s development Policy is linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs). Quality education is an important part of sustainable development in any country. Norway therefore increasingly focuses on education in its international development policy with an increased allocation of 3,6 billion NOK in 2018.