Five students from the National University of Laos (NUoL) are the first group to receive scholarships to study in Assam, north-east India, where they are taking a three-month course in computer science.

The students recently travelled to Assam to begin the course.

NUoL and Assam’s Gauhati University signed a Memorandum of Agreement in August this year during the 25th anniversary of the Asean-India Dialogue Partnership conference held in Vientiane.

The conference was organised by the Asean-India Business Council, Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Embassy of India to Laos.

Chairman of the Asean-India Business Council and HSMM Group of Companies, Mr Habib Mohammed Chowdhury, said “Under the agreement, our group of companies is sponsoring the student exchange programme to send these five students from the National University of Laos to Gauhati University for a three-month course in computer science and IT. They are the first group of students from Laos to study in Assam.”

He said the group of companies would cover all the expenses of the five students.

“Our plan is to bring students from Gauhati University to NUoL under a student exchange programme. We will also send students from Malaysia to Gauhati University under a student exchange programme,” he added.

An outstanding fourth-year student from the Engineering Faculty at NUoL, Ms Chanpheng Davilayhong, was one of the five to be awarded a scholarship for the three-month course in India. She said it would be the first time she had travelled abroad.

“The five students who received these scholarships were selected for their good academic track record, computer skills, knowledge of English, and their willingness to participate in cultural exchange. We will not only be studying but will use this opportunity to learn about Indian culture,” she said.

When the course is over she will continue with her final year at NUoL. After graduating, she hopes to become a teacher and may pursue further studies at a later date.

“To be an outstanding student, I have to be patient and focus on my studies by making sure I complete all my assignments. I also try to make time to read books, go to the library or learn from my friends,” she said.

“You have to work hard and be dedicated, then success will be within your grasp. You will also be proud of your success through your own efforts and diligence,” she added.

Lao Ambassador to India Mr Southam Sakonhninhom said “Fifty students are now studying in universities in India, doing bachelor to PhD degrees. Many students have graduated with PhD degrees in the past, notably monks.”

The five scholarship awardees went to India during the 25th anniversary of the Asean-India Dialogue Partnership which took place in Assam. The event coincided with the North East Development Summit held in Manipur, India, from November 19 to 23.

A Lao delegation led by Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Savankhone Razmountry, also attended these events where he was one of the key speakers.