1.1. What are Australia Awards?
The Australia Awards Scholarships Program is part of the Australia Awards initiative which was announced by the Australian Prime Minister in November 2009.
The Australia Awards have been established to maximise the benefit to Australia of its extensive scholarship programs, and to support enduring ties between Australia and our neighbours.
The Australia Awards will bring together the international development awards administered by AusAID and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ Endeavour Awards under a single recognisable brand.
1.2. What are Australia Awards Scholarships (AAS)?
Australia Awards Scholarships come under the Australia Awards initiative and are administered by AusAID and aligned with Australia’s development assistance in Pakistan, targeting human resource gaps in identified priority sectors. They aim to provide successful applicants with the skills and knowledge to drive change and influence economic and social development.
AusAID offers Development Awards, each year, on the basis of merit, transparency and equal access. We strongly encourage applications from women, people with disability, and people from target areas.
For types and levels of awards under Australia Awards Scholarships, please click here.
1.3. What are the 'priority areas' for study?
Under the Australia Awards Scholarships program studies may be proposed within the three priority areas of:
- Maternal, neonatal and child health services
- Basic education services
- Rural development and food security
2.1. What are the scholarships conditions?
For information on the scholarships conditions, click here.
2.2. Can applicants apply for a graduate diploma leading to a Masters program?
No. Applicants can only apply for Masters scholarships under Australia Awards. However, the institution may decide that in order to meet the full requirements for entry into a Masters program, a student may need to undertake preliminary/additional courses of study.
APAS provide for both Masters scholarships and short course opportunities.
Please click here for details about AAS and APAS.
2.3. Is two years' work experience mandatory?
Yes. Two years' experience is the minimum requirement to be eligible for a scholarship under Australia Awards Scholarships Program. Applicants under AAS Profile 2 have to show five years of work experience in the related field. Internships do not count towards work experience.
2.4. Are provisional educational degrees acceptable to fulfill the “16 years education” eligibility criterion?
No. AusAID will only accept attested photocopies of final transcripts and educational degrees from accredited educational institutions. Any educational degrees obtained after the deadline for receipt of applications will not be accepted.
2.5. Can I apply for a PhD program under AAS?
No. Currently, Australia Awards offers only Master-level programs under AAS. APAS offers both Master-level and short course opportunities.
3.1. What is a “current” IELTS score?
A test result obtained anytime after 31 January 2012 will be considered current. If applicants have a current IELTS score, it has to be 6.5 with no band less than 6 in order to be considered eligible.
3.2. Can an applicant send TOEFL scores instead of IELTS?
No. Australian visa section does not accept TOEFL scores for visa purposes.
3.3. Are applicants who hold a foreign degree exempt from submitting or sitting for a current IELTS Test?
No. Applicants with foreign degrees from an English speaking country (e.g. UK, US or Canada) are still required to submit or sit for an IELTS test.
3.4. Does an applicant still need to submit or sit for a current IELTS test if their medium of instruction has been English throughout their academic career?
Yes. A current IELTS score is required even if the medium of instruction has been English throughout an applicant’s education.
3.5. What is the procedure for claiming reimbursement for IELTS exam?
Australia Awards Pakistan office will arrange the IELTS testing of short-listed candidates. However for applicants who already have a current score, taken after 27 January 2012, the amount will be reimbursed after the final selection of short-listed applicants has been made. Only the short-listed candidates are eligible for the reimbursement of IELTS exam. The short-listed candidates must submit the receipt for the exam and a copy of IELTS score card to the Australia Awards Pakistan office.
3.6. Can I apply for a Masters (by research) program?
Yes. You can apply for a Masters (by course work) or Masters (by research) program.
3.7. Does an applicant need to submit a research proposal with the application?
All Masters applicants whose study program will include at least 50 per cent research must attach an outline of the proposed research project (up to 1,000 words) to each application form. Details are provided on the application form. Masters (by research) applications received without such an outline will be considered invalid.
4.1. Can an applicant submit more than one application per intake, per scheme?
No. AusAID accepts only one application per candidate for each intake. Duplicate applications will not be accepted and may lead to disqualification.
4.2. Can an applicant submit typed/handwritten applications?
Applicants can submit their applications handwritten or typed. You are required to submit 3 sets of your application forms; each form should be signed by hand.
4.3. Is deferral of the scholarship award allowed?
Yes. However, only in exceptional circumstances (e.g. unexpected change of circumstances like pregnancy, delayed visa processing, etc.) and if appropriate, AusAID may, on a case by case basis, consider a deferral for maximum period of up to 6 months. Detailed and attested documentation for deferral cases is required.
4.4. Do I have to send my original documents / original IELTS Score Sheet?
Applicants are required to send attested photocopies with the application. However, they will be required to produce originals at the time of interview.
4.5. Who can attest/certify documents?
The documents can be attested by a first class gazetted officer or any person of an equal status.
4.6. What is the process after being selected for a scholarship?
After a scholarship is offered, awardee's request for placement is sent to the respective first preference university. Universities take about one month to make a decision on an application. If admission is rejected by the first preference university the request for placement is sent to the second preference university. In case of rejection by the second preference university, the scholarship is cancelled. If admission is offered, two copies of the “AusAID Scholarships Contract” along with an Offer Letter are sent to the candidate.
One signed copy of the Contract, along with the Visa application forms and required documents, has to be returned within 10 days of receipt. Visa processing takes about three months.
Pre-departure briefing is organised and the candidates then leave for their respective destinations.
4.7. What documents do I have to include with my application?
Please see the How to Apply section by clicking here.
4.8. When is the deadline for submission of applications?
Completed application forms must be submitted by 25 March 2013.
5.1. Should applicants apply directly to Australian universities to seek admission?
No. Applicants are only required to select two preferred courses (that fall under the same priority sector) and institutions for study in the Application Form. AusAID is responsible for processing admission on their behalf if they are selected for the scholarship.
5.2. Where can I get information about Australian universities and courses offered in these universities?
The list of courses offered in Australian universities can be found at the website www.studyinaustralia.gov.au. The shortlisted candidates will also get advice on appropriate course and university selection from our Academic Advisor.
5.3. What is the role of an Academic Adviser?
The role of the Academic Adviser is to assist selected applicants (after initial short-listing) in finalising their course of study and university with respect to their education, field and experience. Write to the Australia Awards Pakistan office if you require further guidance on the role of the Academic Adviser.
5.4. What is the duration of a Masters program?
A Masters program under the AAS is defined as being between 1 to 2 years in duration.
5.5. Are research applicants allowed to undertake fieldwork?
Students enrolled in Masters by research or a combined Masters coursework and research program where the research component is at least 50% may be funded by AusAID to undertake fieldwork in their home country or within Australia. These details are provided to the student by the Institution at the time an offer is made.
6.1. What does the student visa process entail?
Please refer to the DIAC website http://www.immi.gov.au/students/students/576-2/index.htm for AusAID Sponsored Sector: Temporary Visa (Subclass 576) - Assessment Level 2 for student visa requirements.
6.2. What documentation needs to be attached with the Visa Application Form?
The complete list of Visa Application requirements:
- Form 157-A – Main application form for student visa along with a photocopy of completed form. (note that you MUST declare your spouse and children on the application form even if they are not travelling to Australia at this time)
- Form 1221 - Supplementary Information
- Form 54 - Family Composition
- Form 956 - Appointment of Agent
- Form 919 - Nomination of Dependents
- Form 1229 - Parent Consent Form
- Family composition details
- Passport (valid until the duration of the study program in Australia)
- Photocopy of your Passport
- Four recent passport size photographs
- Letters of support
- Letter of confirmation from employer
- NOC from government for Govt. Employees
- Educational Documents (the original documents will be returned to you once the visa is granted)
- Original Educational documents (O levels/matriculation to highest qualification)
- Certified copies of Original Educational documents
- Original IELTS score sheet
- Certified copy of IELTS score sheet
- Experience/Trainings/Publications record
- Detailed C.V. (Kindly account for each lag of more than 2 months in your resume starting from after Matriculation to date e.g., applying to colleges, applying for work etc.)
Family Visa requirements
- Family’s passports and four recent passport size photographs of each family member
- Family composition details
- Original marriage certificate (Nikahnama in original script)
- NADRA Registration Certificate and birth certificates of children
- Bank statement (showing that you have sufficient funds to meet the expenses of your family’s return airfare and living costs in Australia)
- Evidence of enrolment for any school-aged children (children from 5-18 yrs old)
- Proof of Overseas Health Cover for all family members.
7.1. What are the Australia Awards entitlements?
For information on the Australia Awards entitlements, click here.
8.1. Is there an association or group I can join to keep in touch with other graduates from the Australia Awards program?
You can become a member of the AusAID Scholarships Alumni - Pakistan group if you have successfully completed studies in Australia under any AusAID scholarship. Please visit the Alumni page on the website for more information.
9.1. Are applicants allowed to take their families with them to Australia on Australia Awards?
Yes. Under the family friendly aspect of scholarships, candidates can have their spouses and children accompany them to Australia. Candidates must indicate in the application form if they intend to take their family with them to Australia. If required by the university, the awardee has to obtain a No Objection Certificate from them. However, it is important to note that some universities usually ask for a period of 6 months before a candidate’s family can join them in Australia.
Applicants should note that the Australian Government does not provide any additional financial support for the dependents (spouse and children under 18) of AAS students. Also applicants will have to arrange for their family member’s Overseas Health Cover along with school enrolment of any accompanying children
Under Australian visa requirements parents, parents-in-law or siblings of an applicant are not considered dependents and cannot accompany the scholarship recipients to Australia for the duration of their scholarship award.
9.2. What kinds of mobility do women have in Australia?
In Australia women can move very easily from one place to another using public or private transportation. The public transportation system is reliable, safe and affordable and most international students, including women from Muslim cultures, rely on public transport for routine mobility.
9.3. Being a woman, how can I find a secure accommodation?
There is wide range of secure accommodations available for students that can be arranged by the university or yourself.
9.4. Do women face any religious restrictions in Australia?
Australia is a pluralistic society, where anyone, including women, can practice their own religion without any restrictions. Muslim women can wear what they want and can go to the mosque and pray without any difficulties. Australia has one of the most effective law enforcement systems in the world, where women’s rights and independence is strictly ensured and any form of violence against women is prohibited.
9.5. Can my children get an education in Australia?
Yes. Australia has an excellent education system where children are provided a healthy and encouraging environment with due regard to their cultural and religious background. Highly professional and trained teachers make it very easy for international students to adjust to the schooling system.
9.6. Can students’ children access childcare facilities, especially if they cannot speak English language?
Yes. Scholars’ children can access childcare services, depending upon availability of space and time. Childcare centers offer supervision by trained staff, food arrangements, toilet care, activity groups, play areas, swings, afternoon nap area, and emergency arrangements. The admission form includes sections on religion and halal food requirements can be arranged with mutual consultation between the centre and the parents. If possible, childcare centers can also arrange short-term language support for children who cannot speak the English language.
9.7. What assistance will be available to me during my stay in Australia?
All universities in Australia have student services centers that provide guidance and emergency support to students during their stay in Australia. The student services centers can help students in arranging accommodation, accessing family support and to meet, to the extent possible, any special needs of the students. Australian Universities also have health and counselling services that are free or offered at cheaper rates for students and a range of sporting, shopping and other facilities on campus.
9.8. Can we celebrate our religious, cultural and national festivals?
Yes. Being an immigrant society most Australian cities have sizable Muslim and Pakistani populations, who have formed community centers to get together and celebrate religious, cultural and/or national events and festivals.
9.9. Can I work part-time while studying in Australia?
Kindly refer to the immigration website - www.immi.gov.au - for details on part-time work allowed under your visa subclass.
9.10. Can my spouse work while accompanying me on my scholarship?
Kindly refer to the immigration website - www.immi.gov.au - for details on full-time work allowed under your spouse's dependent visa.
10.1. Is Australia wheel chair friendly?
Yes. Most public places, including the university, markets and parks have been custom-built to be wheelchair friendly. Universities have special lifts, parking, off-campus service, toilets and a library assistant for wheel chair students.
University accommodation and private apartments have lifts/elevators that allow for smooth wheelchair access to the lodging and inside the house. Private housing is not always customised for wheelchair access and scholars should confirm this at the time of finding accommodation in Australia.
10.2. Will I be able to use public transportation?
Australia has an elaborate public transport infrastructure, comprising rail, tram, buses and taxis, linking different parts of a city. Most public transports are customised to enable wheelchair and baby pram access; trains and buses usually have exclusive spaces for wheelchairs too.
10.3. How I will be able to do my shopping /grocery and basic necessities?
Australia has well developed retail outlets, located at convenient locations across the cities and towns, where you can do weekly/monthly shopping at affordable prices. The retail stores are designed to enable wheelchair access.
10.4. What services will be available for me? For example, can I have a disability carer?
Many Australian universities have dedicated disability services centres to enable students with a disability to participate fully in university life. They can help to arrange services such as carers and other needs. Australian universities also have health and counseling services that are free or offered at cheaper rates for students. Universities also have international student services centres where students can make appointments to discuss any matters that are impacting on their life in Australia.