At LIRNEasia, we do not treat interns only as cheap labor (though they are that too). They each have a mentor, a researcher who works with them and spends time with them. After all, LIRNEasia was set up by a person who loved and continues to love the learning culture of a good university but could not stomach any more faculty meetings. But as with all students, whether we have done any good through our efforts with our interns takes time to become evident and usually that time frame does not mesh with the short durations of projects and their evaluations. But in Ransimala Weerasooriya we have an exception:
A Musaeus College student from Thalawathugoda has earned the University of Queensland (UQ) Centenary Scholarship for undergraduate studies in Economics, with just one a year being offered to an international student.
Tharani Ransimala Weerasooriya chose Economics as her field of study after obtaining 3A*s and 2As at her Advanced Level examinations (UK GCE Edexcel), including an A* for Economics and a world best in Accounting.
Inspired through self-study and wide reading, Tharani chose Economics because “Economics is not merely an academic discipline, but – for anybody who understands it – profoundly a way of life.”
“The School of Economics at the University of Queensland gives me access to a wide range of disciplines which subsequently leads to a more holistic understanding of social sciences,” Tharani says. Her ultimate goal is to pursue Development Economics.
“I view the University of Queensland as a very attractive choice due to the multiplicity of opportunities it provides to learn languages and pursue courses in a variety of fields,” Tharani said in her scholarship application.
Tharani preparation has included a Research Internship at LIRNEasia, an ICT policy think tank active across the Asia-Pacific, where she has learnt valuable skills that will help in her studies at UQ.
“My internship was my first insight into academic life and helped put in context many things I learnt in Economics. My experiences at LIRNEasia kindled an interest in me to pursue environmental economics and behavioural economics at the University.”