The Australian Government will provide nearly $1.4 billion over the next five years in support of education cooperation across the region through an enhanced scholarships programme. The package is to be known as Australian Scholarships and includes an additional $442.5 million of new funding. Australian Scholarships will provide over 19,000 scholarships during the five year period from 1 July 2006.
Australia has long provided scholarships to promote development and foster relationships between Australia and the people of our region. Scholarships promote political and economic reform and good governance, while enabling regional leaders to develop enduring connections with Australia.
Australian Scholarships will bring together existing scholarships programmes from the Australian Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and the Government's international aid agency AusAID, under one umbrella. It will also include a new category of scholarship: Australian Leadership Awards (ALA), focused on developing future leaders in the region.
Over the next five years, more than 3,000 new Australian Leadership Scholarships will be offered through AusAID for postgraduate study at Australian Universities at PhD and Masters Degree levels and for the development of leaders through a fellowships program.
These new scholarships complement the highly regarded Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) programme - supporting development in the Asia Pacific region at the same time as building links between the region's current and future leaders.
The remaining scholarships will be part of DEST's expanded Endeavour Programme, which enables high achievers to undertake study, research or professional development in Australia and for Australians to do the same in the region.
Australian Scholarships will contribute to Australia's goal to increase its overseas aid allocation to about $4 billion a year by 2010, as announced by the Prime Minister at the United Nations Summit in New York in September 2005.
Mr Downer's Office
Chris Kenny (02) 6277 7500 / 0419 206 890
Bronwyn Coles (02) 6206 4733 / 0418 216 844