With its high standards of both education and living, and eight of the world’s top 100 universities, Australia is becoming an increasingly sought-after destination for international students. The attractions are obvious – internationally recognised qualifications gained in a beautiful and vibrant setting – but for some students, limited finances can get in the way of living the Aussie dream.
There are many scholarships available to international students in Australia, from government-sponsored programs to those funded by the private sector and individual universities.
Here is an overview of scholarship options you might consider.
The Australian government currently invests $200 million each year in scholarship programs to support around 5000 international students to study in Australia at any one time. The Australia Awards were introduced in 2009 and are divided into a development arm – the AusAID Awards – and an achievement arm – The Endeavour Awards.
The AusAID Awards include three different programs which offer opportunities for study or work experience in Australia.
Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) have been introduced to contribute to the long-term development needs, growth and stability of Australia's partner countries. Each year, up to 1000 people from 31 developing countries are helped to undertake full-time undergraduate or postgraduate study in Australia.
Through their Australian education, it is hoped that scholars will develop the skills and knowledge to drive change and shape development outcomes in their own countries. Scholarship holders must return to their country of citizenship for two years after they have completed their studies to contribute to their country’s development.
Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) Scholarships and Fellowships aim to develop leadership and build partnerships within the Asia-Pacific, while also addressing priority development issues in the region. These are awarded to leaders or those who have the potential for leadership roles that can influence social and economic reform, both in their own countries and in the Asia-Pacific region.
Study programs must relate to a priority development area: disability, economic growth, education, environment, food security, gender, governance, health, human rights, infrastructure, regional stability, rural development, or water and sanitation.
ALA Scholarships are for masters or doctorate level study at an Australian university. ALA scholars also undertake a Leadership Development Program in Australia. Selection for ALA Scholarships is based on leadership qualities, academic excellence and the potential to influence change on returning home.
ALA Fellowships are for short-term study, research and professional development activities with Australian organisations for mid-career professionals from eligible countries.
The Endeavour Awards comprise the achievement arm of the Australia Awards. They offer opportunities for citizens of the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Europe and Americas to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia. This program is an internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program.
The Endeavour Awards aim to:
There are various types of Endeavour Awards, such as the Endeavour Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS), which is funded by the Australian Government and awarded to international students wishing to undertake graduate research degree studies at one of the participating universities.
The Endeavour Europe Awards provide financial assistance for postgraduate students from participating countries in Europe to undertake either a master’s degree or PhD in Australia, in any field of study.
Various industry bodies within Australia offer scholarship programs to international students. To find out which scholarships are available in your area of study, visit JASON, a postgraduate scholarship database for Australia, and search your field.
As an example, the International Centre of Excellence in Water Resources Management (ICE WaRM) offers a scholarship program to attract high-quality international students to education and training in water resources management, delivered by ICE WaRM partner institutions.
Every university offers its own set of scholarships, many of which are open to international students, and some of which are specifically for international students. Many Australian universities are host institutions for both Endeavour Awards and AusAID Australian Development Scholarships and Australian Leadership Awards, offered at all levels of study (subject to eligibility and country requirements).
RMIT University, for example, funds full scholarships for commencing and continuing international students to pursue research programs and also provides partial fee waiver scholarships across other levels of study. It also offers international scholarships to assist international students who are disadvantaged by their economic, social or geographic circumstances but have the academic ability and the will to succeed.
Similarly, the University of Melbourne offers international postgraduate coursework awards to citizens of countries other than Australia who undertake coursework master’s degrees in certain subject areas, as well as Melbourne International Research Scholarships (MIRS) to international students wishing to undertake graduate research degree studies. Each year the university offers around 100 MIRSs to international students.
It is well worth researching what specific scholarships are being offered by the university of your choice in your area of study. Visit your university’s website as well as JASON and search by institution or field of study.