The Australian government will contribute $320 million from its aid program to the Australia Awards in 2018, funding 1272 Scholarships for study at Australian institutions and 94 Fellowship grants involving 1136 fellows across 48 Australian host organisations.
"Australian hosts include government agencies, universities, research centres, national sports organisations, NGOs and industry bodies. The 2018 Australia Awards program will also provide funding for 950 Australia Awards short courses and 345 scholarships for study at universities in the Pacific," Foreign Affairs said.
The awards offer the next generation of global leaders an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development which will help them contribute to development in their home countries, the department said.
Students will acquire knowledge, skills and cultivate networks across a range of areas, including engineering, education, health, agriculture and public sector management.
"The Australia Awards complement the work of the government's new Colombo Plan, which is supporting more than 30,000 Australian undergraduates to live, study and work in the Indo-Pacific region. Australia's international alumni are influencers and leaders in their home countries, and through our Global Alumni Strategy, we grow a community that strengthens and maintains our regional connections," Foreign Affairs said.
Together, the new Colombo Plan and the Australia Awards deepen Australia's engagement with the region and facilitate genuine two-way educational exchange.