The Educational Relationship between Bhutan and Australia


  • Dolay Tshering
  • Jeanette Berman
  • Judith Miller University of New England


Bhutan, Australia, collaboration, education, scholarships


Education has been the central pillar of friendship and cooperation between Australia and Bhutan for more than five decades. Formal diplomatic relations between the two countries started in September 2002 and since then, areas of collaboration have diversified to agriculture, trade, water, energy and connectivity as well as support for Non-Government Organisations and volunteer programs. Enduringly, education remains the core basis of the friendship and cooperation between the two countries since the first cohort of five Bhutanese students were admitted at Hale School in Western Australia under the Colombo Plan in 1969. This article provides a comprehensive foregrounding of the bilateral areas of educational cooperation, enduring and productive partnerships between the two countries. This historical account of the relationship in education between the two countries of Bhutanand Australia is based on a range of information sources gathered from government websites, unpublished reports from universities, press releases, and peer reviewed book chapters and journal articles. The culmination of this report identifies a need for an empirical investigation of the personal and professional outcomes of this relationship.

Author Biographies

Dolay Tshering

Mr. Dolay Tshering is a research student with the School of Education at University of New England,
Australia. Prior to joining the university, he worked for the Ministry of Education in Bhutan for 14 years
and as a news reporter with the Broadcasting Service Corporation from 2002-2004. Dolay graduated
with Master of Human Resources from Curtin University in Australia after completing his bachelor’s
degree from the Institute for Language and Cultural Studies and post graduate certificate in Education
from the National Institute of Education in Bhutan.

Jeanette Berman

Jeanette Berman is a psychologist and teacher who has been involved in building teacher and school
psychologist capacity in Australia, New Zealand and South America. She has worked in inclusive teacher
education at the Universities of Canberra and Melbourne and New England. Her interests are broad,
involving child and adolescent development, sustainable learning, psychoeducational assessment,
responsive classroom teaching, learning intervention for students with learning difficulties or disabilities,
professional practice in school and educational psychology, and Indigenous educational psychology.

Judith Miller, University of New England

Dr. Judith Miller has been actively contributing to preservice teacher education, teaching and researching for twenty-five years at the University of New England. Judith has contributed to both collaborative research and curriculum development in Bhutan, most recently championing study programmes for young Australian teachers to experience education in Bhutan through the support of the Australian Government New Colombo Plan Scholarship scheme.




How to Cite

Tshering, D. ., Berman, J. ., & Miller, J. . (2021). The Educational Relationship between Bhutan and Australia. Bhutan Journal of Research and Development, 9(1). Retrieved from