AUSTRALIA AWARDS 2012 INTAKE Australian Scholarships for Africa program 2010-15
What is AusAID? • Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)
What is GRM International? • GRM International is the managing agent contracted by AusAID to assist with the delivery of the Australia Awards in Africa.
Why does AusAID offer scholarships? • Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) • Australian Leadership Awards Fellowships (ALAF) • Further information on the ALAF and the list of eligible countries is available at: www.ausaid.gov.au/scholar/alafellow.cfm.
Australia Awards (Australian Development Scholarships) for Africa - Overview • Government’s increased engagement in Africa • Scale of assistance and geographic coverage • Support for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) where we have expertise and can build on existing support: • agriculture and food security • maternal and child health • water and sanitation • natural resource management (including mining) • public sector reform • human resource capacity building (incl. 1000 scholarships per year by 2012-13 across Africa, and support through Australia-Africa Partnerships Facility) • additional areas of demand within the MDGs
Overview– Cont; Scale-up is already underway: • Scholarships Program in (2009): • 12 countries and 100+ awards in southern and eastern Africa • mainly public sector focus • New program (2010 onwards): • 2010: 19 countries and 250+ awards • 2011: 25 countries and 400 awards with focus to gradually extend to private sector and civil society, though main focus will continue to be public sector • 2012-13: 40+ countries and 1000 awards
Key dimensions of the Australia Awards program are: • a five-year program commencing in September 2010 – potentially open to all countries in Africa on a competitive basis – with 1,000 awards being delivered annually by 2012-13; • a dual objective of supporting Africa’s progress towards the MDGs while advancing Australia’s foreign policy priorities; • a sectoral focus driven by African partner governments’ own priorities but which also increases Australia’s profile in Africa by offering awards in sectors where Australia has expertise; • Best practice mechanisms to ensure the right candidates are selected who will provide leadership in their countries, with ongoing access to strong alumni arrangements to ensure sustainability.
Overview– Cont; • Scholarships a key component of the enhanced engagement: • underpin many (existing and new) bilateral relationships • equip Africans with skills and knowledge to drive change • increase Australia’s profile in Africa by showcasing expertise • promote people-to-people links (public sector, and increasingly private sector and civil society) • demonstrate responsiveness to partner government priorities
AustraliaAwards in Africa • Strong reputation of Australian Government scholarships in Africa • over 3600 awards provided in Africa since the 1960’s • Over 600 registered alumni • highly valued commodity
Program Description • The goal and four objectives of the Africa Program 2010-2015 are: • Program Goal • A Study and Professional Development Award program contributing to achievement of MDGs in Africa while promoting Australia as an active partner in African development. • Award program objectives • To meet the goal the program will provide African managers and practitioners with access to Australian-standard educational, training or professional development opportunities which better equip them to lead or support achievement of the following four objectives:
Program Objectives • Objective 1 • AusAID alumni within African government agencies develop and apply sound policy and practice relevant to designated sectors, particularly in specified sub-sectors, and in additional areas of demand. • Objective 2 • AusAID Alumni within African non-profit civil society and African development organisations develop and apply sound operational policy and practice, including collaborative engagement, relevant to designated sectors, particularly in specified sub-sectors. • Objective 3 • AusAID alumni within African commercial private sector organisations develop and apply sound corporate policy and practice, including industry linkages, relevant to designated sectors, particularly in specified sub-sectors. • Objective 4 • Recognition of Australia as an active partner in African development. Inclusive of all ethnic and racial groups
Priority sectors by organisational category • Organisational category • AFRICAN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES:
Priority sectors by organisational category • Organisational category • AFRICAN NON-PROFIT CIVIL SOCIETY AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATIONS AFRICAN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES:
Priority sectors by organisational category • Organisational category • AFRICAN COMMERCIAL PRIVATE SECTOR ORGANISATIONS:
Key design features of new Africa scholarships program: • Diversified mix of awards: • Long-term awards (LTAs) • Masters and small number of PhDs • Short course awards (SCAs) • up to 3 months, including technical vocational education and training (TVET) • Professional development awards (PDAs) • up to 3 months, primarily work attachments (minimum 70% of each award)
KeyDesign Features – Cont; • Scope for in-Africa delivery (of LTAs and SCAs, through registered Australian universities/training providers) as program evolves – but not a primary focus • Better targeting through Desired Applicant Profiles (DAPs) • Better sustainability through Reintegration Plans • Stronger alumni mechanisms • Improved access and equity provisions • Communications strategy
Partnership arrangements and networks • The awards are delivered in cooperation with partner African Governments. Amongst other things, partner governments assist in disseminating information about award opportunities to potential applicants. • The Australian Government is also developing a series of regional and country-level networks to help promote the program. Network partners will be asked to disseminate information about award opportunities to potential high quality applicants in the focus sectors. • Three component partner networks are involved in program implementation: • Partner Government Networks • Civil Society Partner Networks • Private Sector Partner Networks
Management & Governance • Senior Reference Group (SRG): • AusAID (Chair), DFAT, DIAC, Austrade • Guide implementation of program (incl. ensure responsiveness to African Gov’t requests, and emerging Australian Gov’t foreign policy priorities) • Oversight of geographical distribution of awards • Will initially meet twice per year
Australia Awards – Promoting the Program • Between January and March of each year, information about the Australian Development Scholarships available is disseminated to potential applicants calling for Preliminary Applications. • The process of promoting the program varies from country to country. It can involve public advertising, direct notification of relevant ministries and departments, and use of other partners in-country to send out information to potential candidates. All opportunities are listed on the website: www.adsafrica.com.au • Short-listing and final selections exercises take place between April and August of each year. These processes are conducted by independent panels appointed by the Australian Government and include face-to-face interviews with short-listed candidates. • ADS may include a period of preparation training such as English language training. Students must achieve satisfactory results in this training to be able to continue their scholarships.
Australia Awards Entitlements Students are provided with scholarship entitlements, which include: • A contribution to living expenses to assist students in meeting every day living costs such as accommodation, food, entertainment, etc • Tuition fees • Airfares, which includes a return economy class airfare for the student from the home country to Australia. Entitlement for an annual reunion airfare is limited to those students who do not have any of their immediate family accompanying them to Australia and only takes effect once they have successfully completed their first year of study. • An establishment allowance to contribute towards expenses such as rental bonds, text books, study materials, additional medical insurance, home contents insurance and excess baggage upon return home. • Health cover • Some overseas fieldwork travel costs. • Students may be entitled to bring their family with them to Australia, however this will depend on the policy of the home government amongst other things. • Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) are offered for the total period considered necessary for the student to achieve the qualification being sought. This includes the period required for preparatory programmes. Students are expected to complete their course within the minimum time specified by the institution. • Students 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.
Role of Coordinating Authority • Provide a single and key contact point for AusAID and the Managing Contractor including in agreeing sectoral priorities and ensuring the selection process proceeds smoothly and in a timely fashion; • Advise on suitable promotion strategies and support advertising through relevant line Ministries and other networks; • Review shortlisted public sector applicants to verify their information and claims; • Participate as observers at interviews; • Administer domestic arrangements for public sector awardees (this can include the provision of study leave, the holding opened of positions for awardees upon their return and bonding arrangements to ensure return to workplaces); and • Participate in pre-departure briefings.
Masters Degree Awards • The Australian Development Scholarships available are for Masters level studies in Australia. Students need to commence studies in the 2012 calendar year. • This will either be the actual Masters level course or English Language Training. • The selection process is opening now and will close on 31 May 2011. • Applicants may be from the public sector, private sector or civil society.
Requirements • We are looking for applicants who will meet Australian academic institution requirements
English Language Requirements • Scholarship will need people with a high level of English proficiency to participate in lectures delivered in English – writing, reading, listening and talking skills all required. • Scholarship can provide English Language Training but candidates will need to have reasonable existing English skills. • In applications we are looking for people to demonstrate that they have these existing English skills via current IELTS/TOEFL tests; by previous studies (e.g. Bachelor’s degree) in English language; by current jobs in English speaking environment.
Requirements – Cont; • We will shortlist candidates with English language skills ahead of those who cannot demonstrate English language skills. • We will test all people who we interview to assess the exact level of English to determine whether we offer them a scholarship or English Language Training. • Those who are offered English Language Training may subsequently be offered a scholarships if they reach the minimum university English language requirements.
Post graduate work experience • Universities require candidates to have significant periods usually between 4-6 years post Bachelors degree work experience. • Australian Masters level courses draw heavily on a students practical experience so universities will not accept students without significant work experience.
Additional Requirements • What Australian Government requires
In current employment • Development scholarships are given to people who are most likely to return and make a development contribution in Africa. • Part of the application process involves employers signing a plan for how their employees will use their studies in their workplace on return. This is easier in the public sector. Often private sector and civil society applicants will need to give up their employment to take up the scholarship. • The main point though is that we do not want to invest in people who are unlikely to use their degrees on return. • Their current employment also strengthens their ability to meet the university’s post graduate work experience requirements.
Application Process • Advertising and Submission of Preliminary • Application Forms (PAFs) • Paper Selection • Selection Interviews • University Application Process • Visa Application Process • Restrictions • Desired Applicant Profile
Useful Websites • Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC): www.immi.gov.au • Australian Scholarships: http://www.australianscholarships.gov.au • Study in Australia http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au • Scholarships opportunities in Africa: www.adsafrica.com.au • Alumni: www.adsafrica.com.au/alumni.php
Australian Universities • Queensland • Bond University • The University of Queensland • James Cook University • Queensland University of Technology • University of Sunshine Coast • Griffith • New South Wales • Macquarie University • Charles Sturt University • University of Technology Sydney • University of New England • The University of Newcastle • Southern Cross University • The University of Sydney • Australian Catholic University • The University of New South Wales
Australian Universities – Cont; • Victoria • Swinburne University of Technology • The University of Melbourne • RMIT University • Monash University • La Trobe University • Deakin University Australia • Victoria University • University of Ballarat • Tasmania • University Maritime College • University of Tasmania
Australian Universities – Cont; • South Australia • Carnegie Mellon • Flinders University • The University of Adelaide • University of South Australia • Western Australia • Murdoch University • Curtin University of Technology • Edith Cowan University • The University of Western Australia • The University of Notre Dame Australia • Northern Territory • Charles Darwin University
Sectoral Priority Areas • Public Policy • Public administration • Trade/international trade • Diplomacy • Public Sector Forum • Management of public private partnerships • Other public policy fields formally recognised to be of national or regional priority • Agriculture/Food Security • Fisheries • Agro-Forestry • Natural Resource Management • Mining; Drilling; Extractive Industries; Environmental Management • Health • Maternal & Child Healthcare • HIV/Aids • Technical fields such as pharmacy, dietetics and laboratory science and management • Policy Implementation • Information Management and Use of ICT • e-health • Water & Sanitation
Application: Online/Postage • Applicants are to register for a user name and password at https://oasis.ausaid.gov.au • Applicants may log in to the application form as many times as they wish with their user name and password, until midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time on 31 May 2011 when access will no longer be available. • Alternatively, applicants may download a hard copy of the Preliminary Application Form from www.adsafrica.com.au. The same deadline applies. • A Desired Applicant Profile outlining the conditions applicants will need to meet to be considered for these Masters level scholarships is provided. Applicants need to carefully read the information given in Australia Awards for the (Country) Information Pack – click thereto download it in Microsoft Word 1997-2003 format, or click there for PDF format
Application: Submission • Applications are to be sent direct from the candidates to the Managing Contractor (including by completing the on-line application form) by 31 May 2011. • The Managing Contractor will assess all applications for compliance. • Non-compliant applications will be rejected. • The Coordinating Authority will be informed of all compliant public sector applicants.
Selection Considerations The information AusAID would be seeking includes: • the respective importance of each candidates proposed studies to the priorities; • the ability of the employer to release the candidate for long term studies (which with English Language Training can mean an absence of three years); • a character check to make sure the applicants are legitimate nationals without any criminal records or criminal charges pending. • While the Coordinating Authority is providing the feedback on the compliant candidates the Managing Contractor will be shortlisting to identify who we will interview.
Interviews • The Managing Contractor will liaise with short listed applicants to arrange for a face to face interview. • These interviews will take place in late June or early July 2011. Interviews will be conducted in three locations: Accra, Nairobi and Pretoria. • Candidates will be competing across a regional pool of scholarships, with applicants from up to 38 African countries. • Interviews will be conducted in English and there will be a written test also in English. • At this point candidates will also take a formal IELTS/TOEFL test which will be included as part of the assessment process. • They will also be given information on what the contract they will be asked to sign if they are successful means, how to apply for courses at Australian institutions and how to complete visa application forms.
Successful candidates • The Coordinating Authority will be informed of all public sector candidates who have been successful. • At this point the Coordinating Authority provides final verification that the successful interviewees are suitable to be offered a development scholarship. • Any objections to a particular applicant from a Coordinating Authority needs to be based on valid reasons which will need to be provided to the Australian Government for their consideration. • Once any objections are resolved, the Managing Contractor will contact the applicants to make them a formal development scholarship offer. • The Coordinating Authority may need to assist the Awardees with internal processes such as accessing study leave. • The successful applicants will need to sign a contract with the Australian Government.
Contracting • The contract provides the entitlements as long as the student: • Is offered a place in an Australian academic institutions for a Masters level course (we will support students in being offered a place at up to three institutions. If they are rejected three times however the scholarship offer is withdrawn) • Is granted a visa by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (this will include a complete medical check). • These processes can take three months or more after the paperwork is submitted, so we encourage students to complete their paperwork promptly. • Students need to complete university application forms and visa forms themselves. • Our Managing Contractor will take care of lodgement and liaison on the paperwork processing.
Pre-Departure Briefings • The successful applicants will be invited to a Pre Departure Briefing (PDBs) • PDBs set out all of the requirements of the scholars and the entitlements of the scholarships. • PDBs explain what students can expect from living in Australia and studying at an Australian academic institution. • PDBs will occur in September and October 2011. • PDBs are delivered in ‘hubs’ – central locations: the most likely locations will be Accra, Cairo, Maputo, Nairobi, Pretoria, Port Louis (where there are Australian Missions) and either Lusaka or Lilongwe (as the accredited Australian mission is in Harare)
Admissions • Australian academic institutions have two student intakes a year, Semester 1 in January and Semester 2 in June. • Students will receive an Introductory Academic Program to help prepare them for their studies during January or June. • Those needing English Language Training will need to undertake these studies before they are offered a scholarship. • The timing of their English Language Training will be managed to meet the January and June intakes. • The maximum amount of English Language Training available is one year. • The maximum length of a Masters degree is two years.