Australian Regional Development Scholarship

Australian Regional Development Scholarships provide opportunities to people from some developing countries to study at selected education institutions outside Australia.
The purpose of the scholarships is for people to gain knowledge and skills which will help the development of their home country.
Am I eligible for a scholarship and how do I apply?
Australian Regional Development Scholarships are currently restricted to Pacific countries.

Enquiries about scholarships should be made with the Australian Diplomatic Mission. For example, scholarship information for citizens of the Solomon Islands is only available from the Australian Diplomatic Mission in Honiara.

Diplomatic Missions in other countries or AusAID Offices in Australia cannot provide country specific information about the availability of scholarships.
Eligible country
Cook Islands, East Timor,Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru , New Caledonia, Niue , Papua New Guinea , Palau, Solomon Islands , Tokelau , Tonga, Tuvalu , Vanuatu.
How are people selected for scholarships?
Applicants compete on their merit which includes academic achievement and other selection criteria. The selection criteria vary between countries and are developed jointly by the Australian and partner governments.

AusAID has a gender/equity policy (half of the scholarships are awarded to women and half to men).

To be eligible for a scholarship applicants must:
  • be a citizen of and a resident in the ARDS participating country
  • not have or be entitled to permanent residence in Australia; and not be married or engaged to be married to a person who holds or is eligible to hold Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent residence status (unless their country does not issue passports - the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau)
  • meet specific eligibility criteria imposed by the Government of the applicant's country of citizenship
  • satisfy host government's immigration requirements for regional students
  • not hold another scholarship during the period of the ARDS
  • not be transferring from another scholarship
  • not hold or have held an Australian Government Scholarship in the two years preceding the proposed time of commencement of the ARDS (excluding Papua New Guinea Secondary School Project students)

Where can I study?
Currently Australian Regional Development Scholarships are offered to people from the Pacific to study at Pacific tertiary institutions in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa.

What can I study?
Australian Regional Development Scholarship students study a wide range of disciplines at selected education institutions outside Australia.

The scholarship numbers and fields of study for each country are determined annually as part of Australia's bilateral development assistance program with that country.

Some countries may limit the level of study (technical, undergraduate or postgraduate) and give priority to certain fields of study to better meet development needs.

Country specific information is available from the Australian Diplomatic Mission in the country of citizenship.

What is the length of scholarships?
The scholarships are offered for the minimum period that the individual could be expected to complete the academic program. Scholarships may include preparatory programs (including English language tuition) which are normally limited to one year.


Applicants considering studying for particular professions (eg medicine, legal studies, etc) should note that they are expected to complete their practical training in their own country. Only under exceptional circumstances do scholarships include a practical training period required for professional registration.

What are the scholarship conditions?
Applicants who are offered a scholarship will be asked to sign an undertaking declaring that they will comply with the conditions of that scholarship. Partner countries may impose their own conditions on the scholarship.


Conditions include:

  • studying full time and meeting all course requirements
  • not changing enrolment without the prior written approval of AusAID
  • making satisfactory academic progress
  • complying with restrictions on employment in the country of study
  • accepting that the scholarship may be withdrawn by the Australian Government
  • returning to the home country on completion of the scholarship
  • restrictions on returning to the country of study or travelling to Australia within 2 years of the completion of the scholarship
  • repaying the total amount of the scholarship if condition (f) or (g) are not adhered to

Do I get financial assistance while studying?
Scholarship entitlements vary between countries and institution of enrolment.
Generally entitlements cover a return airfare from your home country to the country of study, academic and other compulsory fees, an establishment allowance and a living allowance paid fortnightly.


In some countries the living allowance may be paid at a higher rate when the student is joined long term by one or more family members. No assistance is available with the airfares of family members.

More info: http://www.ausaid.gov.au/scholar/studyout.cfm

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