The Sida-AIT cooperation aims to demonstrate that higher education has a role in directly addressing poverty in the region. Higher education programmes for poverty alleviation traditionally recruit promising technocrats from among the elite in select countries and trains them to conduct research in impoverished areas and to adapt rich-world solutions to poor-world problems. This approach brings improvements to poor areas but generally has not resulted in the poor being given opportunities to develop their own improvements or to prepare their communities to face new and unforeseen challenges to their livelihood such as those posed by climate change, natural disasters or economic crises. Because practitioners working in the field within the communities they serve will better understand local problems and stand a better chance of helping those in need, there is hope that identifying and offering outstanding members of rural poor communities access to graduate programmes offered by AIT, which have a high degree of relevance and strategic importance for such self-reliance and preparedness, will significantly contribute to poverty alleviation.
The Scholarship Programme is designed in a way that will result in outcomes of more people with better qualifications and more motivation to address poverty in the region. This will in turn result in better conceived and implemented poverty initiatives providing direct benefits to the poor in both the rural and urban areas Lack of human resources with this capacity directly hampers the fight against poverty in Asia. The success of the programme will be judged on measurable impact on poverty, not by academic excellence.
The focus of the scholarship cooperation is on poverty alleviation. Applicants must have work experience in and demonstrate commitment to work on poverty alleviation to be eligible for the support. The applicants need to provide a written account of their background and their intentions after graduation with respect to work in poverty alleviation.
Nationals from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar (some restrictions apply) are eligible to apply. Applications from women are encouraged. Applicants with rural backgrounds or those working in rural areas (including small townships) are given priority in the selection. In the past the recipients of scholarships in the target countries are disproportionately coming from the major urban centres.
The allocation of scholarships is on a competitive basis to any of the Field of Study (FoS) at AIT. The amount of the scholarship for each student is flexible, depending on the level of support (pre-study and during study) that each student may require, as it is expected that most applicants are in need of additional support in language, computers and other academic skills. AIT will establish in-country support programs as necessary in order to achieve the objectives of the program. The scholarships may be offered as flexible Masters where the student can arrange the study periods at AIT around work commitments.
The Schools admitting students under this programme shall take responsibility of ensuring that all students comply with the conditions and requirements in terms of courses and thesis topics as stipulated in the offer letter to the relevant candidates (see outline below).
PhD scholarships offered under this programme (tentatively beginning in 2011) are expected to have access to additional research funds through the support by Sida to AIT for research.
Specific requirements of the Scholarship recipient to be include in the offer letter.
1. An individualized study plan must be developed by the Student and his/her supervisor, this should include any need for additional tutoring/mentoring during the study period and if the student require a flexible-MSc/PhD programme to fit with work or other commitments. This plan must include two (or more) credits in courses identified as addressing poverty issues.
2. The thesis topic must address poverty issues (preferably in the Students home country).
3. The Student is committed to engage in follow up and monitoring activities once the studies are completed (i.e. after graduation).
Academic program enquiries and request for application forms can be addressed to the Admissions and Scholarships Unit.
Admissions and Scholarships Unit
Asian Institute of Technology
P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang
Pathumthani 12120, THAILAND
Phone: (662) 5245031-33
Fax: (662) 5246326
Application forms can also be downloaded from http://www.ait.ac.th/admissions/application.html