Education authorities plan to increase the number of scholarships for students taking technical and vocational courses to 13,122 in the 2020-2021 academic year, up from 12,315 last year, amid the growing need for labour in skilled trades.
Most of the scholarships will be for courses for electrical technicians, motor mechanics, accountants, IT staff, chefs, bartenders and tailors, according to the Head of the Monitoring and Evaluation Division under the Department of Technical and Vocational Education, Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr Phoxay Boulom.
The scholarships will be offered through various colleges.
This academic year, 24 vocational colleges across the country plan to enroll 26,438 students, up from 25,436 in the 2019-20 academic year.
Pakpasak Technical College in Vientiane will offer places to 4,429 students, followed by 2,730 students at a college in Champassak province, 2,490 students at a college in Vientiane province, 2,020 students at a college in Khammuan province, 1,831 students at a college in Luang Prabang province, 1,345 students at the Polytechnic College Laos in Vientiane, 1,185 students at the Lao-German Technical College in Vientiane, 1,740 students in Savannakhet province, and 920 students in Oudomxay province.
The Technical College in Vientiane province will provide 90 scholarships to women, enabling them to take various vocational courses.
The increase in scholarships and enrolment in technical and vocational courses comes amid the growing demand for skilled labour in various trades.
Given the increasing demand in these fields, the government is encouraging secondary school graduates to take vocational and technical courses in an attempt to fulfil the demand.
In addition to vocational courses, leading universities estimate they will accept several thousand students to study in various faculties this academic year.
The National University of Laos will accept 8,000 new students this year, after this quota was approved by the Ministry of Education and Sports.
The University of Health Sciences will accept about 400 students to study in 11 disciplines, while Souphanouvong University will accept at least 1,000 students to study in various fields.