Australia launches local scholarships for Filipino high achievers
The Australian Government is expanding its support to strengthen Filipinos’ professional excellence with the launch of local post-graduate scholarships to be taken in top Philippine universities.
“The Australian Government regards scholarships as a key demonstration of our commitment to Philippine and regional education excellence. Scholarships have been an integral part of Australia’s aid program to the Philippines for over 50 years and will continue to be an important part of the relationship between the two countries,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said.
The In-Country Scholarship Program (ICSP) complements the Australia Awards, which supported over 2,000 Filipinos to undertake post-graduate studies in Australia’s leading universities over the past two decades. ICSP provides professional development opportunities for Filipinos who are unable to study in Australia because of work or family demands. It will also provide more options for people with disabilities who have particular care requirements.
“The In-Country Scholarship Program, while delivered in the Philippines, has the same objective as the Australia Awards – to develop leaders and build stronger institutions that can drive development in the Philippines,” Ambassador Tweddell said.
“It allows Filipino high-achievers, whether individually or as members of their respective organisations, to pursue and achieve professional excellence. They can lead change and support the Philippine Government’s agenda on good governance by helping improve efficiency of government and non-government programs.”
The first batch of 50 awardees of ICSP were selected from a targeted group of Philippine organisations operating in the conflict affected areas in Mindanao to pursue diplomas or masters degrees in education, social protection, disaster risk reduction, climate change, infrastructure development and governance. The scholars attended their pre-scholarship orientation in Davao City and were joined by Australian Embassy Counsellor (Development Cooperation), Katie Whitting.
The ICSP will be managed by the Philippines-Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility and will be piloted in six partner academic institutions: University of the Philippines, Asian Institute of Management, Asian Social Institute, Ateneo de Davao University, Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology and the University of Southeastern Philippines. The ICSP will cover full tuition and miscellaneous fees, living allowance, book allowance and research funds.
Australia is a long-standing development partner of the Philippines and one of the country’s largest bilateral grant aid donors. In 2012-13, Australia will provide Php5.5 billion in development assistance to the Philippines.