Three Samoan scholars win Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarships


Robert Bartley, Julian Wong-Soon and Maria Sang-Yum with the Ambassador of Japan to Samoa, H.E. Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aoki

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 21 MARCH 2018: The Government of Japan through its Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Scholarship, has again granted the opportunity to Samoan nationals to further their studies in their respective fields at international universities in Japan.

Three scholars have been awarded fully funded scholarships as research students to study and live in Japan within the 2 to 3 years study.

Robert Bartley, 30, from Letogo will pursue his Master’s program in Public Policy in the area of Infrastructure. He is currently employed by the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (MWTI) as the Road Safety and Policy Officer. He hopes to gain an understanding of Japan’s policy and procedural approaches to effective infrastructural design and asset management during his studies at the Ritsumeikan University in Osaka. Bartley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the National University of Samoa majoring in Sociology and English.

Maria Sang-Yum, 23, from Vaiusu will pursue her Master’s program in International Development and Cooperation through the Graduate School of International Development of Nagoya University. Upon the completion of her course, she would be able to examine the differences between Japan and Samoa and their roles in targeting gender vulnerability and how each countries response in creating prevention strategies. Sang-Yum is a graduate of the University of Auckland, New Zealand with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in the fields of Political Science and International Relations and Pacific Studies.

Julian Wong-Soon, 26, from Faatoia will pursue in a Doctoral program in Applied Chemistry through the Graduate School of Engineering of Osaka University. She hopes that upon completion of her PhD, she will gain more knowledge and understanding in the study of natural products which enables the establishment of strong evidence of the application of traditional medicine as well as adding value to Samoa’s natural habitat. Wong Soon is a graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering from the University of Newcastle, Australia, majoring in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Science (Natural Products and Drug Discovery). She is currently employed at the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (SROS) as a Principal Research Scientist.

The three scholars very excited to travel to Japan for the first time to pursue further studies in their respective fields and hope that upon completion of their courses they would remarkably contribute in the development of Samoa.

They thanked the Government and the People of Japan through the Ambassador of Japan to Samoa, H.E. Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aoki, for the tremendous opportunity offered to Samoan nationals who wish to further their studies for the betterment of their families and home country of Samoa.

Ambassador Aoki congratulated the awardees and wished them all the best in successful achievements of their studies and their future endeavours.

Robert and Maria are expected to leave the country early April while Julia will depart in September this year.

About Japan’s M EXT Scholarships

The Japanese Government (MEXT) offers several types of scholarship to people of Independent State of Samoa to study in Japan every year.  Embassy of Japan in Samoa conduct the selection of the candidate.

     Teachers Training Students Scholarship (selection period: February/March)

     Specified Training College Students Scholarship (selection period: June/July)

     Undergraduate Student Scholarship (selection period: June/July)

     Research student Scholarship (selection period: June/July)