Frequently asked questions

Australia Awards Applicants

1. What are Australia Awards?

2. What type of applicant is the Australian Government looking for?

3. What are the eligibility criteria?

4. I already have a Master degree, can I apply for a Master degree?

5. I already have just completed an Undergraduate degree, can I apply for Technical/Vocational level study?

6. How can I obtain more information about Australia Awards?

7. What are the levels of study available under Australia Awards?

8. What is the Government of Laos (GoL) Employee Category?

9. What is the Open Category?

10. What are the 'priority areas of study'?

11. What is a Re-entry Action Plan?

12. How can I avoid making common mistakes?

13. I am applying for a PhD scholarship. How do I find a research supervisor?

14. When is the deadline for submissions of applications?

15. How are applicants assessed?

16. Do I have to have an IELTS test before I apply?

17. How can I prepare for the IELTS test?

18. Are there any fees to apply for Australia Awards?

19. What is the Australia Awards Joint Selection Panel

20. Awards Benefits.

21. Is there an association or group that I can join after I return from study in Australia to keep in touch with other graduates from Australia Awards? 


  1. What are the Australia Awards?

Australia Awards are offered by the Australian Government. Australia Awards provides an opportunity for talented individuals to obtain Technical/Vocational, Undergraduate, Post-Graduate (Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, or Masters) and PhD qualifications in Australia in priority areas of the development cooperation program and the broader bilateral relationship between Laos and Australia. In this way, Australia Awards aims to contribute to the long-term human resource development needs of Laos.

back to top

2. What type of applicant is the Australian Government looking for?

Successful applicants for Australia Awards will have above average academic ability and a high level of commitment to the development needs of the Lao PDR. They will be intending to study in a priority sector.

Candidates should fit one of the following profiles:

Australia Awards Laos Profile 1 -Public Category

The Public Category is aimed at Government employees who can demonstrate the potential to influence policy, or who are practitioners working, facilitating or delivering services in one of the priority sectors.

The priority areas are: Education, Improving Laos’ Human Resources and a Stronger Trade Regime and More Competitive Private Sector. The Government of Laos is also looking to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, particularly in research, teaching and specialist areas of the public sector. Please note that the Government of Laos has advised that general business courses and education management are no longer considered priorities for Australia Awards.

Applications are strongly encouraged from women, people living with a disability and people living in provincial areas.

General Eligibility Criteria
  • must be a Lao citizen
  • must not be current serving military personnel
  • must be less than 50 years of age as at 24 March 2017
  • must have been residing in Lao PDR for a minimum of 2 years prior to 24 March 2017.
    Exceptions may be considered for Government Officials who have had diplomatic postings overseas
  • must not be married, engaged to, or a de facto spouse of a person who holds, or is eligible to hold, Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency
  • must not hold or be seeking to acquire permanent resident status in Australia or New Zealand
  • must not have a criminal record
Profile Specific Eligibility Criteria
  • be an employee of the Government of Laos working in a designated priority sector
  • have a minimum of three years relevant work experience in the public sector
(includes any internship or training period)
  • be planning to study in an area related to previous qualifications and work experience
  • be applying for a course that is relevant to one of the priority sectors outlined in this profile
  • submit a Re-entry Action Plan (REAP), endorsed by your employer, that clearly articulates how the proposed field of study could add value to policy, practice and resource allocation for service delivery in the priority sectors
  • must be able to reach required IELTS scores
  • provide a Government of Laos approval letter, signed by a representative from your Personnel Department
  • meet the General Eligibility Criteria (minimum)
Additional Eligibility Criteria for Australia Awards Alumni

Previous Australia Award recipients (alumni) must also meet the following criteria:

  • must have been back in Laos for at least twice the duration of the original scholarship on completion

(or termination)

  • must clearly demonstrate the contribution made to the development of Laos since returning from the previous award.
Assessment

Applications will be screened to determine those candidates who most closely align to the profile. Assessment of eligible candidates will be as follows:

  • Academic Readiness (10%)

Previous academic results, relevance of proposed study, commitment to further learning inside and outside the workplace.

  • Development Outcome (30%)

Based on an assessment of potential contribution to the development of Laos, ability to apply knowledge and skills in the workplace, working in a priority area, professional goals and career progression, REAP.

  • Written Essay (10%)

Based on a short written task under exam conditions, looking at critical and analytical thinking, and the communication of ideas.

  • Interview (50%)

Confirmation of earlier assessments, understanding of how the scholarship relates to personal and organisational objectives, interpersonal and communication skills, adaptability, leadership and understanding the requirements of study in Australia.

 

Australia Awards Laos Profile 2 – Open Category

The Open Category is aimed at:

  1. Applicants who may be already employed or seeking a career, in the non-profit civil society sector or with development organisations.
    This includes organisations involved in advocacy for the needs and interests of the poorest and most marginalised groups in Laos.
  2. Applicants who are already employed or seeking a career, in private sector organisations and who can demonstrate a commitment to, and a clear plan for, how their qualification will assist in a more open and competitive trading environment and improved service delivery.

The priority areas are: Education, Improving Laos’ Human Resources and a Stronger Trade Regime and More Competitive Private Sector. The Government of Laos is also looking to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, particularly in research, teaching and specialist areas of the public sector. Please note that the government has advised that general business courses and education management are not considered priorities for Australia Awards.

Applications are strongly encouraged from women, people living with a disability and people living in provincial areas.

General Eligibility Criteria
  • must be a Lao citizen
  • must not be current serving military personnel
  • must be less than 50 years of age as at 24 March 2017
  • must have been residing in Lao PDR for a minimum of 2 years prior to 24 March 2017. Exceptions may be considered for Government Officials who have had diplomatic postings overseas
  • must not be married, engaged to, or a de facto spouse of a person who holds, or is eligible to hold, Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency
  • must not hold or be seeking to acquire permanent resident status in Australia or New Zealand
  • must not have a criminal record
Profile Specific Eligibility Criteria
  • have a minimum of three years relevant work experience
  • be planning to study in an area related to previous qualifications and work experience
  • be applying for a course that is relevant to one of the priority sectors outlined in this profile
  • submit a Re-entry Action Plan (REAP), endorsed by your employer, that clearly articulates how the proposed field of study could add value to policy, practice and resource allocation for service delivery in the priority sectors
  • must be able to reach required IELTS scores
  • meet the General Eligibility Criteria (minimum)
Additional Eligibility Criteria for Australia Awards Alumni

Previous Australia Award recipients (alumni) must also meet the following criteria:

  • must have been back in Laos for at least twice the duration of the original scholarship on completion

(or termination)

  • must clearly demonstrate the contribution made to the development of Laos since returning from the previous award.
Assessment

Applications will be screened to determine those candidates who most closely align to the profile. Assessment of eligible candidates will be as follows:

  • Academic Readiness (10%)

Previous academic results, relevance of proposed study, commitment to further learning inside and outside    the workplace)

  • Development Outcome (30%)

Based on an assessment of potential contribution to the development of Laos, ability to apply knowledge and skills in the workplace, working in a priority area, professional goals and career progression, REAP)

  • Written Essay (10%)

Based on a short written task under exam conditions, looking at critical and analytical thinking, and the communication of ideas)

  • Interview (50%)

Confirmation of earlier assessments, understanding of how the scholarship relates to personal and organisational objectives, interpersonal and communication skills, adaptability, leadership and understanding the requirements of study in Australia)

 Back to top

3. What are the eligibility criteria?

  • The applicant must be a Lao citizen.
  • The applicant must NOT be current serving military personnel.
  • The applicant must have been residing in Lao PDR for a minimum of 2 years prior to 25 March 2016. Exceptions may be considered for Government Officials who have had diplomatic postings overseas. Please contact the Awards team for further information.
  • The applicant must not hold or be seeking to acquire permanent resident status in Australia or New Zealand.
    • Nor should the applicant be eligible to hold passports of these countries.
    • Nor should the applicant be married to, engaged or intending to become engaged to, a person who holds, or who is eligible to hold, Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent residence status.
  • Applicants for Australia Awards Scholarships must meet the following age criterion:
    • Must be between 18 and 50 years of age on the closing date of 24 march 2017.
  • Applicants must select a field and level of study appropriate to his/her qualifications, expertise and experience.
  • Government applicants must have worked as GoL officials for at least 3 years before nomination - note that internships count as service.
  • All Post-Graduate and PhD applicants must have a minimum of 3 years work experience after undergraduate study.
  • The applicant must not have a criminal record.
  • In addition to the above, previous Australia Award recipients must also meet the following criteria:
    • Applicants must have been back in Laos for at least twice the duration of the original scholarship on completion (or termination). For example, after a 3 year undergraduate degree, you must return to Laos for a minimum of 6 years before you can apply for an Australia Award at Masters level.
    • Applicants must clearly demonstrate their contribution to the development of Laos since their return from the previous award.

Back to top

4. I already have a Masters degree. Can I apply for Masters level?

Yes. Candidates who obtained a Masters degree from Laos can apply for a Masters under the Australia Awards in Laos.

If you obtained a Masters degree from overseas, you can still apply for Masters level study under Australia Awards in Laos. 

However, it should be noted that priority will be given to those who do not have the same level qualifications or who have not previously had the opportunity to study overseas.

5. I have just completed an Undergraduate degree, can I apply for an Australia Award?

You can still apply, however as the purpose of Australia Awards Scholarships is to align to the human resource requirements of the Government of Laos and employers. If you have just completed a qualification, and it is your first qualification, normally we would expect you to have 2 years work experience before applying for an Australia Award Scholarship. 

6. How can I obtain more information about applying for Australia Awards?

You can attend the Australia Awards Information Session:

6.00 pm, 10 February 2017, Donchan Palace Hotel, Vientiane Capital 

An Australian Education Exhibition will be held on 14 March 2017. Details will be provided at a later date.

Information is available on the website: www.australiaawardslaos.org

Enquiries can also be made by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You will need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Back to top

7. What are the levels of study available under Australia Awards?

Please select your level of study carefully. You should apply for the level of study that is most appropriate for your application.

 

TECHNICAL/VOCATIONAL

-        To obtain a Certificate, Diploma or Advanced Diploma qualification from Australia.

-        Already have an upper secondary school diploma, Vocational and Technical College qualification or a Bachelor degree from Laos.

  • Note that applicants who have just completed upper secondary school may apply for either Technical/Vocational or Bachelor level study.
  • Applicants who already have a Vocational and Technical College qualification or a Bachelor degree from Laos should also have a minimum of 3 years work experience and will be seeking qualifications to fill a skills shortfall or to change career direction.

-        Technical/Vocational applicants must be between 18 and 50 years old.

-        For people with a disability, Technical/Vocational awards will be prioritised.

UNDERGRADUATE

-        To obtain a Bachelor degree from Australia.

-        Have completed upper secondary school.

-        Applicants who already have completed a Bachelor Degree or equivalent, e.g. 3-4 year Diploma level qualification, are not eligible to apply for Undergraduate level study.

-        Undergraduate applicants should NOT have post-secondary school qualifications or have completed more than 2 years of diploma or undergraduate level study.

-        Undergraduate applicants must be between 18 and 25 years of age.

-        For people with a disability, Undergraduate awards will be prioritised and candidates with a disability will be accepted between
18 and 50 years of age.

POST-GRADUATE

-        To obtain a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or a Masters qualification from Australia.

-        Already have Bachelor level qualifications with a minimum 3 years relevant work experience (related to their qualification).

-        Candidates with a Masters qualification gained in Laos and abroad are still eligible to apply; however, priority will be given to those applicants who do not already have overseas qualifications.

-        Post-Graduate applicants must be less than 50 years of age.

PhD

-        To obtain a doctorate or PhD qualification from Australia.

-        Applicants must provide a detailed Research Proposal and have contacted and confirmed an academic supervisor from an eligible Australian institution.

-        Applicants must be in research or higher education teaching positions to be considered for a PhD scholarship. Applicants in management and administrative positions are not eligible.

-        Applicants should have a minimum 3 years relevant work experience (related to their postgraduate qualification).

PhD applicants must be less than 50 years of age

Previous Australia Awards Scholarships Alumni are eligible to apply for Research Masters (Post-graduate) or PhD ONLY with the following criteria:

-        Applicants must have been back in Laos for at least twice the duration of the original scholarship on completion (or termination)

Applicants must clearly demonstrate the contribution made to the development of Laos since returning from the previous award.

Equivalence of Qualifications

The level at which an overseas students enters the education system in Australia is determined by the Australian University's assessment of your existing qualifications. In assessing your academic standing, the Australian University will consider both the level and content of courses you have completed.

8. What is the Government of Laos (GoL) Employee Category?

For applicants who are full-time employees of the Government of Laos.

9. What is the Open Category?

For applicants who are not full-time employees of the Government of Laos.

10. What are the 'priority areas' for study?

The priority areas are: Education, Improving Laos’ Human Resources and a Stronger Trade Regime and More Competitive Private Sector. The Government of Laos is also looking to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, particularly in research, teaching and specialist areas of the public sector. Please note that the Government of Laos has advised that general business courses and education management are no longer considered priorities for Australia Awards.

11. What is a Re-entry Action Plan (REAP)?

A Re-entry Action Plan (REAP) is one of the tools used to assess your application.  REAPs encourage applicants to focus on why they need to study, what they want to study and the long term benefits of the award. In other words, the REAP will answer questions regarding how an Australia Award Scholarship could contribute to your Human Resource Development and to the development of Laos. Back to top

12. How can I avoid making common mistakes?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • All fields on the application form must be filled in and submitted with all supporting documents before the Australia Awards closing time and date of 5.00 pm on 24 March 2017. Incomplete or late applications will NOT be considered. There will be no exceptions.
  • The declaration must be signed. The form without signature will be ruled ineligible.
  • Any form without CRICOS information will be ruled ineligible.
    • A Course CRICOS code is a set of 6 digit numbers with 1 capitalised letter,

e.g. 008927K (PhD of Applied Geology); 083295D (Master of International Finance).

  • Do not be confused with the University CRICOS Provider which has 5 digit numbers with

1 capitalised letter,e.g. Monash University CRICOS Provider is 00008C.

  • A course that has no CRICOS code is not for international students or not for Lao students.
  • Family Registration Book or Family Book here:
    • Make sure the Lao version of your family book has your photo and official stamp.
    • There is no need to copy the cover page of the Lao version of the family book.
    • Mark on which number you are in the family member list.
    • The English version of the family book in one page is the most preferable.
      Sample is here (Word file).
  • What do certified documents mean?
    • Certifying that your original documents have been sighted and the copy has been sworn to be a true copy of the original.
    • Certifying that documents in English version are properly translated based on the original Lao version.
  • Who can certify your supporting documents?
    • An authorised person under legal authority such as:
      • Institutions that originally issued the documents, for example,

universities, workplaces, village administration office and other organisations

  • A Notary Public
  • An Australian Embassy or Laos Australia Institute
  • An authorised person can certify for both a true copy of original and a proper English translation.
  • If you are studying, you MUST provide a letter from the institution where you are studying. The letter must state: date you commenced study, what you are studying (e.g. Bachelor of Economics), and what year your study will be finished. If you do not include this letter, your application will not be considered as we cannot confirm that you are enrolled.
  • Make sure you select the correct scholarship preference:Do not alter dates or withhold information about your qualifications. Applicants found altering dates or omitting to disclose qualifications will be ruled ineligible.
    • A Public applicant is a government employee who works for and is paid by the Government of Laos.
      A government employee can choose to apply for either the Public or Open category, but not both.
    • Everyone else is an Open applicant.
  • Applications with unexplained 'gaps' between periods of study and employment, or after study, will be considered incomplete and ruled ineligible.
  • Less is more. It is good to have multiple awards, but before submitting all copies, please ask yourself if they are relevant to your future study in Australia, e.g. a Grade 6 science award is not likely to be relevant and to be submitted if you wish to study a Masters in Economics.
  • Copied documents in A4 size are most preferable.
  • There is no need to submit the Application Instruction page; the Application Form only is fine.
  • DO NOT submit 3 copies of your application and documents. This is NOT a requirement for Australia Awards and is a waste of paper, your time and money.
  • Softcopy applications should be colour scanned and attached to an email. The scanned application form MUST be signed properly.
  • DO NOT submit both a hardcopy and softcopy application. Choose one or the other.

13. I am applying for a PhD scholarship. How do I find a Research Supervisor?

You do not need an unconditional offer from an Australian University. However, you do need to demonstrate that you have given your thesis topic some consideration. Once you have completed the Research Proposal Template you must liaise with an Australian Institution and identify a supervisor who is prepared to support your research.

For applicants who have studied in Australia in the past, your first point of contact could be with the institution where you previously studied. Contact the Dean of the Faculty where you studied and send him/her:

  • Completed Request for Research Supervisor letter
  • Completed Research Proposal template
  • Copy of your highest qualification and transcript.
  • Other documentation that you think may be important to support your request.

If you have not studied in Australia before, you should review the institutions in Australia (there is a list on the Australia Awards website). Find an institution that supports the area of study you are interested in and contact the Dean of the Faculty and provide him/her with the above list of documents.

14. When is the deadline for submission of applications?

Applications must be received at the Laos Australia Institute no later than 5.00pm on 24 March 2017. No late applications will be accepted, there will be no exceptions.

15. How are applicants assessed?

Awards are decided by the Joint Selection Panel. Applications will be screened and assessed by an independent process to determine those candidates who most closely align to the profile.  

Assessment of eligible candidates will be as follows:

    • Academic Readiness   (10% - previous academic results, relevance of proposed study, commitment to further learning inside and outside the workplace)

Development Outcome (30% - based on an assessment of potential contribution to the development of Laos, ability to apply knowledge and skills in the workplace, working in a priority area, professional goals and career progression, REAP)

    • Written Essay (10% - based on a short written task under exam conditions, looking at critical and analytical thinking, and the communication of ideas)

Interview (50% - confirmation of earlier assessments, understanding of how the scholarship relates to personal and organisational objectives, interpersonal and communication skills, adaptability, leadership and understanding the requirements of study in Australia)

16. Do I have to have an IELTS test before I apply?

No. Applicants do NOT need to have an IELTS test prior to submitting their application for Australia Awards in Laos.

Back to top

17. How can I prepare for the IELTS test?

If you wish to practice for the IELTS test, please refer to the practice IELTS links here.

www.ielts.org

www.canadavisa.com/ielts

www.testpreppractice.net

www.ielts4u.net

18. Are there any fees to apply for Australia Awards?

The Australia Awards application pack is provided free of charge. Applicants are not required to pay fees or other monies when applying for Australia Awards. Please report any request for payment to the Awards Office at the Laos Australia Institute on 021265722 or to Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 021 353800.

19. What is the Australia Awards Joint Selection Panel?

The Joint Selection Panel will comprise representatives from government and the private sector in Laos and the Australian Government. The Laos Australia Institute acts as secretariat and does not have any voting rights on the panel. All panel members sign a Code of Conduct. Breaches of the Code of Conduct are reported to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Applicants who attempt to influence the selection process by contacting individual members of the Joint Selection Panel, Coffey, Vientiane College or the Australian Embassy will be disqualified.

Back to top

20. Awards Benefits

The Awards 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:

  • Full tuition fees
  • Return air travel—payment of a single return, economy class airfare to and from Australia, via the most direct route
  • Establishment allowance—a once only payment of A$5,000 as a contribution towards accommodation expenses, text books, study materials
  • Contribution to Living Expenses (CLE) is a fortnightly contribution to basic living expenses paid at a rate determined by the department. From 1 January 2013, CLE payable to Scholars studying under an AAS is A$30,000 per year.
  • 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
  • Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of the award (for award holder only)—provided to cover the student's basic medical costs (with the exception of pre-existing conditions)
  • 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 may be available to ensure a Scholar's academic success or enhance their academic experience
  • 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.

21. Is there an association or group I can join after I return from study in Australia to keep in touch with other graduates from Australia Awards?

Yes. We strongly encourage graduates to register as an Alumni with the Alumni Associate at the Awards Office, located at the Laos Australia Institute on return from Australia. The Alumni program offers regular events (for networking and socializing), a newsletter (sharing information and experiences) and the opportunity to be actively involved in the Australia Awards program through participation in the pre-departure training and other promotional activities should you wish to participate.

Back to top