The results are in: Australia Awards scholarships and fellowships are skilling up students from developing countries, contributing to sustainable development goals and creating enduring links between Australia and partner countries.
The Australia Awards scholarships and fellowships are prestigious, short-term and long-term study opportunities for people from developing countries designed to drive change in our region. Recent survey results show that many alumni describe their Australian study experience as transformational.
The Global Tracer Facility has been designed to monitor and evaluate the development contributions and public and economic diplomacy outcomes of the Australia Awards. In its first year, the Facility surveyed more than 1500 alumni from 27 countries, who studied in Australia from 2006 to 2010. It also undertook in-depth interviews with a number of alumni from Fiji, Kenya, Nepal and Sri Lanka, who studied in Australia between 1952 and 1996. These interviews were an opportunity to dig deeper into the results. They confirmed the impact on alumni who said their study in Australia allowed them to view the world differently and embrace new ways of thinking and new technology—which they shared with colleagues on their return.
The case studies offer rich examples of the myriad ways Australian-educated alumni returned home with practical and transferrable skills and expertise, allowing them to make a difference in their chosen fields, often as high-level change-makers in academia or government.
In Fiji for example, alumni have made huge impacts on education through initiatives such as the National Early Childhood Curriculum and the first National Special Education Policy. In Sri Lanka, several alumni interviewed went on to set up postgraduate engineering programs. The Nepal case study reveals that alumni returned home to undertake projects and policy development in areas such as women’s health, water conservation and aviation regulation; while in Kenya, alumni went on to use their ‘Australian-made’ expertise to work on large international projects in areas such as food security and climate change.
Overall, the first year findings provide a valuable insight into alumni use of knowledge and skills, their development of networks, and their contribution to cooperation with Australia. The findings also underscore the significance of Australia’s growing global alumni, who are integral to continuing deep connections across the world.
Full reports: Australia Awards Global Tracer Facility Year 1 Results