Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions for 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 have just completed an Undergraduate degree; can I apply for an Australia Award?

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' for study?

11. What is a Supporting Statement?

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 TAFE (Diploma and Advanced Diploma), Undergraduate, Postgraduate 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.

 

 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 which is:

  •      Education (early childhood, primary education, special education, TESOL, curriculum studies, student learning assessment, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and other specialisations including maths and science).
  •        Human resource development (public administration, human resource management, organisational management, labour market, economics, information management and technology).
  •       Trade and private sector development (economics, international business, trade policy, creative industries, entrepreneurship and innovation, public policy, audit, tax, specialised finance and accounting, energy and mining, hospitality and tourism and other business specialisations or services).
  •        Gender equality and social inclusion (gender and development, women’s studies, disability studies, community and international development).
  •        Regional stability and human rights (public international law, international human rights law, international relations and diplomacy).
  •        Environment, agriculture and natural resources (water resources management, water engineering, water quality and supply systems, hydrology, agribusiness management, agricultural economics, rural development, veterinary science, environmental science, sustainability, tropical science, climate change and disaster risk management, forestry management, geographic information science/technology, conservation studies).
  •       Science, technology and infrastructure (engineering and infrastructure, mathematics, information and communications technology, architecture and urban planning, transport planning and logistics).

The governments of Australia and Laos regularly review these areas of study together and adjust the emphasis of the program. Studies in other fields will be considered on the basis of merit.

 

3. What are the eligibility criteria?

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 listed on page 1 of this document.

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 outside Vientiane Capital.

General Eligibility Criteria
  • must be a Lao citizen
  • must not be a current serving military personnel
  • must be less than 50 years of age as of 31 March 2018
  • must have been residing in Lao PDR for a minimum of 2 years prior to 31 March 2018. 
    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
  • 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.
Australia Awards Laos Profile 2  –  Open Category

The Open Category is aimed at:

  1. Applicants who are already employed or are seeking a career in the non-profit civil society sector or with development organisations.  These include 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 are seeking a career in private sector organisations and who can demonstrate a commitment to, and have a clear plan for how their qualification will contribute to development in priority sectors in Laos as listed on page 1 of this document.

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 outside Vientiane Capital.

General Eligibility Criteria
  • must be a Lao citizen
  • must not be current serving military personnel
  • must be less than 50 years of age as of 31 March 2018
  • must have been residing in Lao PDR for a minimum of 2 years prior to 31 March 2018. 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
  • 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.

 

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

Yes, candidates who obtained a Master degree from Laos can apply for a Master under the Australia Awards in Laos.

If you obtained a Master degree from overseas, you can still apply for the Master level study under Australia Awards in Laos.  However, it should be noted that a 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 Awards?

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 3 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:  10 February 2018 from 14:00 at Muongthanh Hotel, Vientiane Capital

An Australian Education Exhibition will be held on 7 March 2018.  More details will be provided later 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.

For those who have no access to the internet and/or persons with disability who need help to apply for scholarships, kindly contact our Scholarships Team at the Laos Australia Institute using the email address above.

All are also welcome to visit the Laos Australia Institute office to talk to one of our staff during our office hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

 

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

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

 

TECHNICAL/VOCATIONAL

To obtain a Diploma or Advanced Diploma qualification from Australia:

       - You must 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.

-        -   Applications from people with a disability for Technical/Vocational awards will be given priority.

 

UNDERGRADUATE

To obtain a Bachelor degree from Australia:

  •         You must have completed upper secondary school.
  •         Applicants who already have completed a Bachelor Degree or equivalent, e.g. 3-4 years 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.
  •         Applications from people with a disability for Undergraduate awards will be given priority, and candidates with a disability will be accepted between18 and 50 years of age.

 

POSTGRADUATE

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

  •         You must already have Bachelor level qualifications, with a minimum of 3 years relevant work experience (related to your 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 should have a minimum 3 years relevant work experience (related to their postgraduate qualification).
  •         Priority will be given to applicants in research and/or higher education teaching positions.
  •         PhD applicants must be less than 50 years of age.

 

Previous Australia Awards Scholarships Alumni are eligible to apply for Research Masters (Postgraduate) 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.

 

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

This is for applicants who are full-time employees of the Government of Laos.

 

9. What is the Open Category?

This is for applicants who are not full-time employees of the Government of Laos.

 

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

 

  •      Education (early childhood, primary education, special education, TESOL, curriculum studies, student learning assessment, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and other specialisations including maths and science).
  •       Human resource development (public administration, human resource management, organisational management, labour market, economics, information management and technology).
  •       Trade and private sector development (economics, international business, trade policy, creative industries, entrepreneurship and innovation, public policy, audit, tax, specialised finance and accounting, energy and mining, hospitality and tourism and other business specialisations or services).
  •       Gender equality and social inclusion (gender and development, women’s studies, disability studies, community and international development).
  •       Regional stability and human rights (public international law, international human rights law, international relations and diplomacy).
  •       Environment, agriculture and natural resources (water resources management, water engineering, water quality and supply systems, hydrology, agribusiness management, agricultural economics, rural development, veterinary science, environmental science, sustainability, tropical science, climate change and disaster risk management, forestry management, geographic information science/technology, conservation studies).
  •        Science, technology and infrastructure (engineering and infrastructure, mathematics, information and communications technology, architecture and urban planning, transport planning and logistics).

       The governments of Australia and Laos regularly review these areas of study together and adjust the emphasis of the program. Studies in other fields will be considered on the basis of merit.

 

11. What is a Supporting Statement?

A Supporting Statement is one of the tools used to assess your application.  These statements 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 Supporting Statement will answer questions regarding how an Australia Awards Scholarships could contribute to your Human Resource Development and to the development of Laos.

 

12. How can I avoid making common mistakes?

  • All fields on the application form must be filled in and submitted with all supporting documents before the Australia Awards closing time and date.  Incomplete applications or late submissions will NOT be considered, and there will be no exceptions.
  • Submitting supporting documents in PDF in A4 size format (with colour, if possible) is the most preferable. 
  • Please note that the maximum upload size is 2 MB per file.
  • The declaration in the Additional Form must be signed.  Without a signature, this form will be ruled ineligible.
  • Any form without CRICOS information will be ruled ineligible. 
  • A Course CRICOS code is a 6-digit number 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 is a 5-digit number 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 Lao students.
  • Family Registration Book or Family Book:
  • Before you scan the book, make sure the Lao version of your family book has your photo and official stamp, and mark which number you are on the list.
  • The English version of the family book in one page is the most preferable.  A sample is available in the above website (Word/PDF files).
  • 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 an English version are properly translated based on the original Lao version.
  • Who can certify your supporting documents?
  • An authorised person who is either the official records department of the institution that originally issued the document such as universities, workplaces, village administration office and other organisations.
  • the Australian Embassy
  • A Notary Public (an officer of the Justice Department licensed by the state to certify true copies of documents)
  • If you are studying, you MUST provide a letter from the institution where you are studying. The letter must state: the 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:
  • 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.
  • Do not alter dates or withhold information about your qualifications. Applicants found altering dates or omitting to withhold qualifications will be ruled ineligible.
  • 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.

 

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 uploaded and/or submitted on-line no later than 12.59pm on 31 March 2018.  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 selection 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.

  • 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.

 

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 021 265722 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 or the Australian Embassy will be disqualified.

 

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 weeks 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 on the Global Alumni website: https://globalalumni.gov.au and/or with 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.