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The LH Martin Institute congratulates Peter Nolan, our first PhD graduate

19 March 2012

Peter Nolan on graduation day, 16 March 2012Last Friday evening,16 March 2012, we proudly witnessed our first PhD graduate, Peter Nolan (pictured left on graduation day), take the stage to receive his award from the University of Melbourne Chancellor. On being the first PhD graduate from the LH Martin Institute, Peter remarked that it was "an honour" and thanked his supervisors Professor Lynn Meek and Associate Professor Leo Goedegebuure "for their prudent supervision, counsel and guidance". Peter worked on his research from 2008 to 2011.

Below is our Q&A with Peter about his research.


What is the background of your research?

The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) Development Cooperation Program in China and Mongolia includes annual funding for Australian Development Scholarships (ADS). The objective of the China and Mongolia ADS program is to promote human and institutional capacity for long-term sustainable development through postgraduate education scholarships at Australian universities.

There is some recognition that ADS scholars return to their home countries and contribute the skills gained from study in Australia. However, despite fifteen country-level reviews of ADS and its precursor scholarship programs, and two overall reviews of the ADS program itself since 1991, there is criticism that they do not sufficiently review broader impacts and performance outcomes.

My research responds to the need for greater awareness of the outcomes of returned ADS scholars once they complete their tertiary studies in Australia and return to work in country. The study utilises results-based management theories for measuring progress.

What are the objectives of your research?

My research is a Contribution Analysis of the Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) program in China and Mongolia. The study provides a unique snapshot of the success of the ADS program in meeting its stated objectives from the perspective of its participants – ADS facilitators and scholars – and illustrates the many returns on investment to Australia in providing education scholarships as a form of development assistance.

Who will your research benefit most?

Government policy and program administrators, development practitioners and researchers, education and training providers.

Who did you work with on the project?

The study involves facilitators and scholars of the program in China and Mongolia between 1996–2006.

Are there significant points you'd like to share with us about your research?

China and Mongolia presented two very different research settings. China represented one of the largest and most populous developing nations in the world experiencing a period of significant growth and modernisation. Conversely, Mongolia represented one of the least population dense nations in the world and markedly behind its immediate neighbour in terms of its modernisation, still grappling with basic development needs.

Thanks Peter and, once again, congratulations!

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