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Norway to fund scholarships for Serb students

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- Norway is to spend one million German marks ($461,500) on scholarships to help 1,000 Serb students complete their studies.

The aid will go to students from financially modest backgrounds with good academic grades to help them complete university or post-graduate studies, Norwegian charge d'affaires Sverre Bergh Johansen told a news conference in Belgrade.

"We are aware that whole generations of young people have left Serbia in recent years. We do not wish to contribute to further brain drain," Johansen said.

"The youth of Serbia is its most valuable asset. The scholarships granted by Norway should serve as an inspiration for the students to contribute to building a positive future for their communities."

Students from throughout Serbia who hold Yugoslav citizenship or are refugees or displaced persons can apply for a 1,000 German mark one-off grant. The grants exclude studying abroad.

The scheme was organised alongside G17 Plus, a Yugoslav independent think tank. "People educated in Serbia are motivated to stay in their country," said Mladjan Dinkic, chief coordinator for G17 Plus.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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