Aussie scholarship program accepting applicationsBy Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Australian Embassy is accepting applications for the 2014 Australia Awards Scholarships until April 30.
The scholarship program sends more than a hundred deserving Filipinos to Australia for advanced degrees at top universities there.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said at least 120 “high-achieving” Filipinos would be admitted to master’s and doctorate degree studies in this year’s round of the study program.
The program “aims to enhance leadership and build people-to-people links between Australia and its partner developing countries, including the Philippines,” the Australian embassy said in a statement.
“The Philippines is one of the largest recipients of the Australia Awards Scholarships program globally. The Australian government recognizes that improving the human capital of the Philippines can drive economic and social development,” Tweddell said.
Through Australian scholarships, he said, talented Filipinos could gain new knowledge, leadership and technical skills to spearhead development programs in their own country.
As part of the Australia-Philippines development cooperation program, the Australia Awards Scholarships “improve basic education, promote national stability and human security, and support economic growth” in the Philippines.
The embassy said study areas covered by the scholarships included basic public services, among them, basic education, social protection and welfare, peace and development, and public financial management.
Courses in trade, foreign relations and organizational development would be part of the scholarships, as well as study areas considered critical for a vulnerable country like the Philippines, including climate change and disaster risk reduction and management.
The embassy said candidates “with potential to assume leadership roles in their respective fields of expertise” were offered the scholarship following a rigid selection process.
“Australia Awards Scholarships are highly competitive and are awarded to the best and brightest Filipinos who demonstrate not only academic excellence but also the strongest potential for driving development in the Philippines,” Tweddell said.
He said the program gave Filipino students the opportunity to “experience and benefit from world-class and high-quality education” in Australian universities, which were ranked among the world’s top schools.
Last month, the 2013 batch of 111 Filipinos from government, nongovernment organizations and the private sector left for Australia to start their studies under the Australia Awards Scholarships.
The program has had more than 1,300 alumni since 1997 when it became formally known as the Australian Awards Scholarships.
The scholarship grant covers full tuition, living and travel expenses.