Moving to Australia

How to get a scholarship in Australia

There’s no argument that studying in Australia can be very expensive for international students. What makes it so appealing is that the quality of the education here is of such a high standard. Plus, the country itself is an attractive reason to study here.

So how can you ease the financial burden of this goal? Scholarships are offered to international students who show particular merit and academic or sporting excellence. But how do you apply for one? Stick around as we have the information you’re looking for.

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Who are Federal Government international student scholarships offered to?

In general, international student scholarships to study in Australia are offered by the Federal Government to students from developing countries. Inability to pay for an education should not be a deterrent for great minds and academic talents that could tragically miss out on a University degree.

These scholarships cover 100 per cent of the tuition fees, return air travel, money for living expenses and an allowance to become established in Australia. The main condition is that once the student has completed their studies, they must return to their home country for at least two years.

These particular scholarships are not available to Australian citizens or permanent residents and they are only offered to students aged 18 or over.

What kind of studies do Australian Government scholarships cover?

Students can apply for a scholarship for professional development or research for up to one year. For postgraduate study such as a PhD or Masters degree, you can apply for a scholarship of one to four years. If you are seeking Vocational Education and Training for a diploma, advanced diploma or associate degree, you can also apply for a one-to-four-year scholarship.

Australia Awards Scholarships

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade administers Australia Awards Scholarships to people from developing countries, and in particular, those from the Indo-Pacific region. Countries included are: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, as well as some Palestinian Territories.

These scholarships enable students to undertake full-time undergraduate or postgraduate study at participating TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutions and Australian Universities. Full tuition, return air travel and an establishment allowance are provided and a Contribution to Living Expenses (CLE) payment is made fortnightly. In the case of these awards too, graduates must return to their home country for at least two years upon completion of their course.

Scholarships offered to international students by Australian Universities

Aside from Government grants, Australian Universities have their own scholarship programs. We’ll cover some of the main ones below but be sure to check with Universities you’re considering to see if they offer a scholarship.

Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP)

What used to be known as the International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) program is now known as the Research Training Program (RTP). It is basically a pool of funding provided by the Federal government to support students who are undertaking Research Masters and Research Doctorate degrees. International students must apply through their chosen University’s postgraduate research office.

Australia APEC Women in Research Fellowship

High-achieving female researchers from APEC economies are invited to apply for an Australia APEC Women in Research Fellowship. Its aim is to encourage female post-doctorate researchers to study outside of their own country and to raise the profile of female role models in STEM subjects.

Australian Sports Academy

The Australian Sports Academy (ASA) offers part-scholarships to international students to save them up to 20 percent of the full tuition fee. Scholarships are offered for a Certificate level of study and do not cover OSHC.

How to increase your chances of receiving a scholarship offer

Never assume you won’t be eligible for an international student scholarship in Australia. Here are a few tips to help you be successful.

  1. Be active in your community – Aside from academic merit, an attribute that is highly regarded by Australian Universities is your community participation. It shows leadership, determination and humanity, traits that are highly valued by academic institutions.
  2. Apply! If you don’t apply for a scholarship, you won’t receive an offer. When you’ve determined a shortlist of institutions you want to apply to, find out what scholarships are on offer and follow the application process precisely.
  3. Understand the selection criteria – Get to know what the University is particularly looking for. Carefully consider the questions asked, be clear on the word limit and make sure you provide the supporting documentation requested.
  4. Commit time and effort to your application. When writing your scholarship application, invest in the possible outcome. Take the time to truly understand what is being asked of you, write succinctly and check and re-check your submission for errors. Spelling, grammar and correct use of the English language are critical. Have a native English speaker – preferably someone who is familiar with the subject matter – check your submission before sending.
  5. Don’t miss the deadline! No matter what, deadlines count. If your scholarship application is not received in time, it simply won’t be considered.


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