J1057N Bhutan Higher Education Scholarships

Bhutan, Indian Subcontinent

The Situation

For Bhutan, climate change is “not just an environmental problem but a serious challenge to sustainable development and the livelihoods of its people” (UNDP, 2011). There is a need for stronger environmental management policies and plans in Bhutan to address emerging natural disaster and economic risks from climate change.

Our solution is to provide full scholarships to disadvantaged young women from rural Bhutan to pursue a 4-year BSc Environmental Management degree at Royal Thimphu College. Our Theory of Change informs the overarching criteria for awarding these scholarships; financial and social disadvantage, academic merit, and the potential for students to use the knowledge and skills gained through higher education to benefit their families and their communities over the long term.

Tertiary education for women is proven to be effective in the fight against climate change through marrying later and having fewer and healthier children and increasing a women’s political, social and economic empowerment. Educated women realise higher wages and greater upward mobility and are more resilient to face the impacts of climate change (Drawdown, 2017). Supporting Bhutanese nationals, also increases the likelihood of developing local climate change knowledge and expertise.

The Objectives

  1. Our objective is to provide scholarships and create an annual stream of female Bhutanese nationals who graduate with a BSc Environmental Management, obtain well-paid employment in environmental management agencies, and have a long career helping Bhutan address the challenges of climate change.
  2. Our project combines the benefits of educating women and increasing the number of university educated rural Bhutanese women employed in environmental management.
  3. We are committed to learning from the data collected and enhancing our project over time, incorporating lessons learned and sharing these learnings with the broader development community, our in-country partners and our donor network.

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