A SCOTTISH Government scheme giving ­Malawian students the chance to gain masters qualifications has been extended.

A total of 30 people will be offered places on the ­Scotland Malawi Scholarship programme after a deal was signed between the two countries yesterday.

This follows the successful David Livingstone Bicentenary Scholarship Programme which saw 37 Malawians educated at post-graduate level.

Humza Yousaf, Glasgow MSP and Minister for External Affairs and International Development, announced the new scheme as well as a five-year education deal between Scotland and Malawi.

In addition, Mr Yousaf said that the Scottish Government will also support two scholarships for Zambian students. The MSP said that further education can "transform the lives" of the participants.

He added: "Education has a transformative effect on the lives of young people, and this agreement between our governments acknowledges this, and underlines the close links which exist between Malawi and Scotland.

"As part of this, following the success of the David ­Livingstone Bicentenary Scholarship Programme a further 30 scholarships for Malawians to study at master's level will be made available via a new Scotland Malawi Scholarship programme.

"It's clear from my time in Malawi that, 150 years on from the work of David Livingstone and the Church of Scotland, there is still huge respect for the work of Scots in the country."

He added: "Just as education transformed the life of David Livingstone, it can do the same for every child.

"The Livingstone scholarships contributed to the ­education of 37 Malawian post-graduate students and I look forward to more ­students enjoying the life-changing benefits of further education."

Scotland will also learn from Malawi on issues ­including how to develop our understanding of global citizenship.

The partnership agreement was signed by Humza Yousaf; Bill Maxwell, chief executive of Education Scotland; Dr Kanyumba, Malawian education minister; and Raphael Agabu, director of Malawi's Department of Inspection and Advisory Service.

Mr Raphael Agabu, said: "This marks a significant day in the relationship of Scotland and Malawi.

"We have worked closely together for a number of years and I am encouraged that this relationship will continue.

"This agreement will help us make improvements that will directly affect the lives of all our learners."

The scheme will run from April 2014 to April 2019.

To be eligible students must be considered "gifted and underprivileged" by their university. Participants will be announced later this year.