The University of Newcastle will roll out the second stage of a major development initiative in eastern and southern Africa, launching a new scholarship scheme with the Government of Kenya for five PhD students. The scholarship scheme is part of a $2.6 million University initiative to build capacity in countries in eastern and southern Africa. The initiative involves waiving fees for up to 30 government-sponsored research higher degree students from Africa to study at the University of Newcastle in Australia over the next three years. The five scholarships launched today in Kenya are the second stage of the initiative, and follow five scholarships announced in Botswana last year. Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Education and Arts at the University of Newcastle, Professor Terry Lovat, said the University was committed to investing in education and expanding the skills of people in Africa. "Over the past 10 years, more than 416 students from Kenya have studied degree programs across the University's five Faculties," Professor Lovat said. "The equitable, merit-based scheme will support talented students to study in the fields of education, international affairs, public health, engineering and public sector reform." The first students of the new scholarship scheme with the Government of Kenya are expected to start their studies in Australia in October 2009. Professor Terry Lovat, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Education and Arts at the University of Newcastle, is available for interview via Media and Public Relations on (02) 4921 5351.