Friday, March 22

Asean scholars to begin education in NZ


ONE trip around New Zealand’s South Island in 2015 was all it took for May Wong to decide where she would be pursuing her Master’s degree.

“I completely fell in love with the country during that trip and with all the positive reviews I’ve heard about New Zealand, I was certain that this would be the place I’d be furthering my studies at,” said Wong, a recipient of this year’s New Zealand-Asean Scholarship (NZAS) Awards.

The NZAS awards recognise New Zealand’s close cultural, economic, and geographic ties with Southeast Asia.

They seek to empower individuals with the knowledge, skills and qualifications to contribute to the economic, social, and political development of their region.

The awards are offered for postgraduate level study and are funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme, the New Zealand government’s international aid and development programme.

This month, Wong will be setting off to New Zealand to begin her Masters in Veterinary Studies at Massey University, one of the country’s premier tertiary institutions.

“One of my ex-classmates, who did her PhD in New Zealand and had rave reviews about studying there, shared with me information about the NZAS awards. Since I have always wanted to study abroad and had a very good impression of New Zealand, I decided to apply for the scholarship.

“Furthermore, Massey University is well-known for its excellent veterinary programmes, and I know that studying there will be an enriching and rewarding experience for me,” said Wong.

For Khalid Faesal Abdul Rahman, another Malaysian recipient of this year’s NZAS Awards, it was New Zealand’s well developed agricultural capabilities that proved to be the ultimate pull factor in helping him make the decision to apply for a postgraduate course in New Zealand.

“New Zealand is known for its agriculture industry and its people’s capabilities to export high quality products to all over the world. This is despite the government not providing incentives or subsidies to the industry except for certain areas such as R&D.

“I’m keen to learn about how the agriculture sector in New Zealand has been able to decrease its operation costs and increase its efficiency and competitiveness in the face of multiple logistics challenges. It is this spirit of innovation that I hope to cultivate while studying in New Zealand,” said Khalid, who will be pursuing a Masters of Agri Commerce at Massey University.

Given the beauty of New Zealand’s lush landscapes and sceneries, both scholars are undoubtedly excited to be exploring New Zealand’s great outdoors and fully immerse themselves in the Kiwi culture.

Above all, they look forward to sharing the skills and knowledge they acquire from their time in New Zealand with their communities back home in Malaysia.

“Upon my return, I hope to use my expertise to work closely with both government and non-government bodies to improve animal welfare in Malaysia, and will also work towards becoming a veterinary specialist in a non-clinical field,” said May.

Meanwhile, Khalid divulged his plans to share his newfound knowledge with the Ministry of Agriculture and prominent industry players in Malaysia.

Further information on NZAS go to

For those who wish to apply for NZAS for study commencing in 2018, applications open online on Feb 16 and close on March 30 at 12pm (NZT).