Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) are a bilateral program within the Australian scholarships program.
Australian Development Scholarships are a highly valued form of development cooperation that aims to contribute to the long term development needs of Australia’s partner countries to promote growth and stability. They provide opportunities for people from developing countries to undertake full time undergraduate or postgraduate study in Australia.
Fields of study are targeted to address agreed priority human resource and development needs of recipient countries, in line with Australia’s bilateral aid program.
Australian Development Scholarships equip scholars with the skills and knowledge to drive change and influence the development outcomes of their own country through obtaining tertiary qualifications at participating Australian higher education institutions and technical colleges.
Scholarship holders are required to return to their country of citizenship for two years after they have completed their studies to contribute to the development of their country.
Up to 1000 Australian Development Scholarships are awarded each year across 31 countries with scholarships awarded equally between men and women.
Categories of Australian Development Scholarships
There are two categories of Australian Development Scholarships:
Public sector: Applicants are public sector employees who are nominated by their governments for an Australian Development Scholarship award through a competitive selection process. Applicants are required to return to their role in the public service at the completion of their award to strengthen public service capacity in their home country.
Open/equity: Applicants do not need to be nominated by their government or employer. Anyone who meets the selection criteria may apply under this category. Applicants are required to return to their country of citizenship after the completion of their award to contribute to the development of the identified priority sector in their country.
Australian Development Scholarships are offered for the minimum period necessary for the individual to complete the academic program specified by the Australian higher education Institution, including any preparatory training. The following benefits generally apply:
- return air travel—payment of a single return, economy class airfare to and from Australia, via the most direct route
- a reunion airfare entitlement for reunion travel is available to Students who commence their scholarship in 2009 and have no family members accompanying them
- contribution to initial visa expenses
- establishment allowance—a once only payment of A$5,000 as a contribution towards expenses such as rental bonds, text books, study materials, additional medical insurance, home contents insurance, excess baggage etc
- full tuition fees
- Contribution to Living Expenses (CLE) is a fortnightly contribution to basic living expenses paid at a rate determined by AusAID. From 1 July 2009, CLE payable to students studying under the Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) is A$25,000
- Introductory Academic Program (IAP)—a compulsory 4-6 week program prior to the commencement of formal academic studies covering information on life and study in Australia. See information on IAPs below
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of the award (for award holder only)—provided to cover the student’s basic medical costs
- Pre-course English (PCE) fees—if deemed necessary PCE may be available for students for in-country and/or in-Australia training
- Supplementary Academic Support (Tutorial Assistance)—may be available when essential to improve the student’s performance to ensure their academic success
- fieldwork (for research students only)—may be available for eligible research students for one return economy class airfare via the most direct route to their country of citizenship or within Australia.
Applicants for Australian Development Scholarships must satisfy both the general eligibility criteria and specific criteria established for each country. Applicants will also need to satisfy all requirements of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
General eligibility criteria
- be a citizen of an ADS participating country
- not hold Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent resident status
- not married to, a de facto of, or engaged to, a person who holds or is eligible to hold an Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent resident status
- not hold or have held an Australian government funded scholarship in the preceding 12 months at the time of application
- satisfy any specific criteria established by the applicant’s country and/or government of citizenship
- satisfy the admission requirements of the Institution at which the ADS is to be undertaken
- satisfy all requirements of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
Country specific criteria
In addition to the above general eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet specific eligibility criteria imposed by the Government of their country of citizenship. Country specific eligibility criteria are available from the Australian Diplomatic Mission in your country of citizenship, or from the relevant link below.
You are only eligible for ADS if you are a citizen of one of the countries listed below. Enquiries about ADS should be made with the Australian Diplomatic Mission in your country of citizenship.
Please note that Diplomatic Missions in countries not listed below, or AusAID Offices in Australia cannot provide country specific information about the availability of scholarships.
There is usually one annual selection round in each country. Each Country Program has different selection processes and timelines. Further information on individual country processes can be obtained from the Australian Diplomatic Mission in the country of citizenship or from the link to contact information above.
Conditions of ADS
Applicants who are offered an Australian Development Scholarship will be asked to sign a contract with the Commonwealth of Australia declaring that they will comply with the conditions of the scholarship and the ADS Handbook before the ADS comes into effect. Partner governments may impose their own separate conditions on the scholarship.
The most significant condition relating to the award is that students are required to return to their country of citizenship for at least two years after completing their scholarship, to contribute to the economic and social development of their country. Failure to do so will incur a debt to the Commonwealth of Australia for the total value of the scholarship.
Australian Development Scholarship Handbook
The Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) Handbook (formally called the Australian Development Scholarship Operational Manual) provides detailed information on all aspects of the program’s operation including selection, processing and managing of ADS intakes. Note that the Handbook may be revised and updated by AusAID at any time without notice.
Study in Australia
The following institutions will be able to receive ADS students commencing 2007. More information about these institutions and the courses available can be found at the Australian Course and Education Institution Search or Study in Australia [external websites]
From January 2007 (Semester One):
Australian Capital Territory
- The Australian National University
- Canberra Institute of Technology
- The University of Canberra
New South Wales
- Australian Catholic University
- Charles Sturt University
- Macquarie University
- Southern Cross University
- TAFE New South Wales
- North Coast
- Northern Sydney
- South Western Sydney
- The University of New England
- The University of New South Wales
- The University of Newcastle
- The University of Sydney
- The University of Technology Sydney
- University of Western Sydney
- University of Wollongong
- Box Hill Institute TAFE
- Chisholm Institute
- Deakin University
- Gordon Institute of TAFE
- Holmesglen Institute of TAFE
- Kangan Batman Institute of TAFE
- La Trobe University
- Monash University
- Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE
- RMIT University
- Swinburne University of Technology
- Swinburne University of Technology (TAFE)
- The University of Melbourne
- University of Melbourne
- University of Ballarat
- Victoria University
- William Angliss Institute of TAFE
- Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE
- Bond University
- Brisbane North Institute of TAFE
- Central Queensland University
- Gold Coast Institute of TAFE
- Griffith University
- James Cook University
- Moreton Institute of TAFE
- Queensland University of Technology
- Southbank Institute of TAFE
- Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE
- The University of Queensland
- The University of Southern Queensland
- The University of the Sunshine Coast
- Tropical North Institute of TAFE
- University of Southern Queensland
- University of the Sunshine Coast
- Curtin University
- Edith Cowan University
- Murdoch University
- TAFE Western Australia Education and Training International
- The University of Notre Dame Australia
- The University of Western Australia
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Flinders University
- TAFE South Australia
- The University of Adelaide
- The University of South Australia
- Charles Darwin University
- The University of Tasmania
From June 2007 (Semester Two):
New South Wales
- Australian Catholic University
- University of Ballarat
What can I study?
Australian Development Scholarships are available for full-time undergraduate or postgraduate study, from Certificate level to PhD at participating Australian universities and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions.
The number of scholarships and fields of study are determined annually by each ADS participating country and in accordance with the Australian Government’s bilateral development assistance program. 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 and Australia’s specific aid objectives for each country.
Country specific information is available from the relevant Australian Diplomatic Mission or from the relevant contact link above.
Institution information kits
Once applicants have accepted an ADS offer and signed the contract with the Commonwealth of Australia, the relevant Institution will provide each ADS student with an Institution Information Kit covering pre-departure information.
The pre-departure information provides details on areas such as the Institution and the student’s course, reception information, climate details, local childcare and schooling options, long term accommodation, living costs, support services available, public transport options and contact details for the Institution.
Introductory Academic Program
Institutions are required to provide a compulsory Introductory Academic Program (IAP) of between 4-6 weeks duration to all ADS students after their arrival in Australia and prior to the commencement of their formal academic program. The IAP is compulsory and all students must attend. The IAP covers the following areas:
- Living arrangements: study and life in Australia, accommodation options, budgeting and living costs, and assistance available to students facing difficulties adapting to their new environment
- Academic matters: advice about academic and language skills and information about study requirements and options
- Legal requirements and entitlements: information about welfare and health services, social adjustment activities, chaplaincy and prayer rooms, part-time employment services, and relevant State laws
- Student Support Services for international students.
Institutions participating in the ADS scheme are required to meet new ADS students at the airport on arrival and take them to their initial accommodation. Institutions are also responsible for arranging accommodation for students and where relevant their families for the first seven days they are in Australia. Students are responsible for the cost of this accommodation, but institutions will try to find accommodation that is reasonably priced, with appropriate furniture and facilities. Students are responsible for finding and paying for their own long-term accommodation.
Information regarding dependants
Students wishing to bring family members to Australia must contact the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) directly to ascertain the current requirements for family entry. More information about DIAC’s entry requirements and the visa process are available from the DIAC website [external website]. ADS students will be required to ensure all their dependants have medical insurance in place for the period they will reside in Australia prior to their departure from their country of citizenship.
Students who bring family members to Australia are entirely responsible for their welfare, including all costs associated with visas, travel, medical, living, and schooling if applicable.
More information for international students living in Australia is available from the Australian Government Study in Australia website.