The Australia Awards Mongolia, which commenced on July 1 2013, operates under a Subsidiary Arrangement between the Governments of Australia and Mongolia. It is managed by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australian Embassy in Mongolia.
Australia Awards Mongolia has the following goals:
- improve human capacity in Mongolia in targeted sectors; and
- contribute to the recognition of Australia as a valuable contributor to Mongolian development.
Changes to Australia Awards for 2016
In May 2015, the Australian Government announced changes in its annual budget that reduced aid support to many countries, including Mongolia. Since that announcement DFAT has developed strategies to manage and implement these changes, in consultation with the Government of Mongolia.
Although support to Mongolia has reduced, awardees already studying in Australia are able to complete their studies. This commitment absorbed much of the available funding for the Australia Awards program. DFAT also committed to support awardees selected in 2013 and 2014, but not commenced their studies, to take up their Australia Awards Scholarships, although their commencement dates will be delayed. Candidates nominated for Australia Awards in 2015 are placed on a merit list and will be offered scholarships as funds become available over the next three years.
These commitments mean there will be no applications and no selection exercise for Australia Awards Scholarships for Mongolia in 2016..
While it is unfortunate the number of scholarships cannot be maintained at this time, the process to manage the situation is fair, reasonable and provides the best outcome for Mongolia.