Sharp increase in study abroad grants for students

Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck, has announced a sharp rise in the number of tertiary students being supported to study abroad with government Endeavour Mobility Grants in 2016.

Some 2,870 tertiary students, including over 1,000 vocational education and training, or VET, students will be awarded the grants in 2016, up from 1,600 grants issued to students in 2015.

“Nearly 70 tertiary institutions will share in A$8.3 million [US$6 million] in funding to support Australian undergraduate, postgraduate and VET students to live and study overseas, immersing them in the education and culture of countries including Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific,” Colbeck said last Tuesday.

“Through short-term and semester study, practicums, clinical placements, internships, and volunteer projects, students from a range of disciplines will gain a valuable international academic and social experience.

“The government’s long-standing partnership with Cheung Kong sees the continuation of student exchanges between Australia and Asia under the Endeavour Cheung Kong Student Exchange Programme.”

Under the programme, the Australian government supports students to study overseas as part of their qualification, and encourages Australian students to immerse themselves in the academic and social cultures of other countries and engage globally with other students, institutions and employers.

It also aims to support Australian higher education providers in further developing and diversifying their linkages with partner institutions overseas.

The scheme also provides opportunities for overseas students to study in and experience Australia.

Endeavour Mobility Grants were made available to around 1,480 undergraduate, postgraduate and VET students to study globally in 2014 and around 1,600 undergraduate, postgraduate and VET students in 2015.

Senator Colbeck said the announcement reflects the government’s recognition of the importance of international education to Australia’s ongoing social, cultural and economic growth.

“The government’s Draft National Strategy for International Education, released in April this year, sets a detailed course for sustainable and continued growth in Australia’s world-class education system, including mobility of Australian and overseas students,” Colbeck said.

“The New Colombo Plan also works to build our knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting Australian undergraduate students to study in the region. In 2016, more than 5,450 mobility students will study across 28 locations,” he said.

In September, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and the education and training minister at the time, Christopher Pyne, released details of 461 mobility projects that will be funded in 2016 under the New Colombo Plan, raising the number of students the government supports to study abroad in the Indo-Pacific region to 10,000 in three years.

Bishop said 38 universities and 11 consortia would receive funding from the Australian government to send more than 5,450 students to 28 locations throughout the Indo-Pacific in 2016.