University News New partnership invests in Myanmar's future

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Woodside and The University of Western Australia have formed a partnership to support the developing nation of Myanmar, formerly Burma, as the country restores its education system.

The Woodside Myanmar Postgraduate Scholarship will provide an opportunity for a Myanmar national to complete a postgraduate degree in an area relevant to public health at UWA.

UWA's Vice-Chancellor Paul Johnson described the Myanmar scholarship as a significant three-way partnership.

"As an educational leader in the Asia-Pacific region, UWA and Woodside want to work with Myanmar to help build an educational legacy for its people," Professor Johnson said.

"After a long period of profound challenges, new opportunities are emerging in Myanmar.

"Myanmar's government is keen to bring education levels across the country up to international standards and links with UWA will help to build the skills and capacity to create important international educational associations."

Woodside, Australia's largest independent oil and gas company, is an early mover in Myanmar through awards of offshore exploration acreage in the Rakhine Basin.

Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said the scholarship would contribute to rebuilding capacity in Myanmar's health sector and reflected a collaborative approach to addressing social and economic challenges.

"Our support for this scholarship is a demonstration of Woodside's commitment to build long-term relationships with the communities in which we operate," Mr Coleman said.

"Collaboration with UWA, a high quality educational institution, strengthens our ability to contribute to the development of essential services in Myanmar."

Education is a significant challenge in Myanmar where less than two per cent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is spent on education - one of the lowest figures in the world.

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