Great results for Australia Awards

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Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 09:32
  • Australia Awards
  • All Countries

It’s official: the Australia Awards are making a significant contribution to sustainable development goals across the globe, and establishing ongoing links between Australia and partner countries.

The results are in from the first year of research by the Australia Awards Global Tracer Facility, with findings showing that the vast majority of students who receive Australian Government scholarships to study at Australian institutions return to their home countries with ‘Australian-made skills’ that strengthen capacity and build expertise. 

The Global Tracer Facility has been designed to monitor and evaluate the development and diplomacy outcomes of the Australian Government’s Australia Awards. In its first year, more than 1500 alumni from 27 countries, who studied in Australia from 2006 to 2010, were surveyed. The Facility also undertook in-depth interviews with a number of alumni from Fiji, Kenya, Nepal and Sri Lanka, who studied in Australia between 1952 and 1996. This qualitative opportunity to dig deeper into the results highlighted that many alumni saw their Australian study experience as transformational, allowing them to view the world differently and embrace new ways of thinking and new technology—which they shared with colleagues on their return.

The case studies offer rich examples of the myriad ways Australian-educated alumni returned home with practical and transferrable skills and expertise, allowing them to make a difference in their chosen fields, often as high-level change-makers in academia or government. 

In Fiji for example, alumni have made huge impacts on education through initiatives such as the National Early Childhood Curriculum and the first National Special Education Policy. In Sri Lanka, three out of seven alumni interviewed went on to set up postgraduate engineering programs. The Nepal case study reveals that alumni returned home to undertake projects and policy development in areas such as women’s health, water conservation and aviation regulation; while in Kenya, alumni went on to use their ‘Australian-made’ expertise to work on large international projects in areas such as food security and climate change. 

Overall, the first year findings provide a valuable insight into alumni use of knowledge and skills, their development of networks, and their contribution to cooperation with Australia. The findings also underscore the significance of Australia’s growing global alumni, who are integral to continuing deep two-way connections across the world.

Read the full reports on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.