Australian Embassy
The Philippines

Australia doubles scholarships for partner countries

    More scholarships for Filipinos

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer and Minister for Education, Science and Training Julie Bishop announced on 26 April 2006 that Australia will double the number of educational scholarships it offers in the Asia-Pacific region.

The new program, Australian Scholarships, will provide nearly A$1.4 billion in funding over five years and double to over 19,000 the number of scholarships available for the region. The initiative merges the Australian Development Scholarships (ADS), managed by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and Endeavour scholarships, administered by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST).

The Australian Development Scholarships program supports development needs in recipient countries. In the Philippines, over 2,000 Filipinos have studied in Australia, taking up courses relevant to Philippine development priorities.

The Endeavour Scholarships program provides international education experiences across the vocational and technical education and higher education sectors, as well as postdoctoral research and professional development opportunities in Australia and overseas. A new component, the Australian Leadership Awards (ALA), will focus on current and future leaders in business, education and government within the region for advanced studies.

Mr Downer said scholarships have a proven record in promoting political and economic reform and enabling regional leaders to develop enduring partnerships with Australia.

"This initiative revives the spirit of the Colombo Plan and demonstrates the high value Australia places on building relationships with countries within the region,” Mr Downer said.

Ms Bishop said scholarships also enhance Australia's reputation as a provider of high-quality education for international students.

“Australia is committed to fostering closer ties through education and through study exchange programs.” From May 2006, DEST will provide 9,700 scholarships under an expanded Endeavour Program. AusAID will provide 6,600 scholarships through the Australian Development Scholarships program and 3,200 Australian Leadership Awards.

In Manila, Counsellor Angus Macdonald welcomed the announcement of Australia’s new scholarship schemes. “Education is one of the best investments that a society can give to its people. It is a vital key to progress. The increase in the number of Australian scholarships will also contribute to the further enhancement of people-to-people relations between the Philippines and Australia,” Mr Macdonald said. (Rolly Inciong)