international students in Australia
These scholarships and grants can help international students in Australia save thousands on tuition fees. Source: Saeed Khan/AFP

Here’s some welcome news for international students in Australia: top Australian universities, including Group of Eight (Go8) universities like Monash University and the University of Sydney, are offering scholarships or country-specific awards to woo students.

According to the Australian Financial Review (AFR), many of these scholarships or grants are designed to attract students from markets such as India, the Philippines and Malaysia, who are more price-sensitive than the Chinese. 

International students have faced a series of setbacks in returning to Australia since the pandemic, prompting some to opt for more easily accessible destinations such as the UK. 

According to reports, Chinese students have been slow to return to Australia due to factors such as the cost and availability of flights. 

The Chinese government changed its regulations to recognise online study degrees, which means there will be a temptation to stay home, said an expert familiar with the matter.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment said the number of international students in Australia totalled 440,129 for the January to March 2022 period. There was a change of -15% compared to the same period last year.

international students in Australia

Many of these scholarships or grants are designed to attract students from certain markets. Source: William West/AFP

Scholarships for international students in Australia

Among the universities offering international students in Australia scholarships include the University of Sydney. The Sydney International Student Award (Central Asia) allows eligible students to receive a 20% contribution to their tuition fees.

For commencing students, the University of Melbourne is offering a 10,000 Australian dollar fee tuition fee remission for first-year undergraduate students; a 50% fee remission for the three-year duration of an undergraduate degree; or a 100% fee remission for the three-year duration of an undergraduate degree.

Current students can enjoy a fee remission of up to A$10,000. 

Undergraduate or postgraduate international students at Monash will automatically be considered for the International Study Grant offer, valued at either A$5,000 or A$10,000, depending on the outcome of the students’ assessment. 

Speaking to AFR, StudyMove managing director Keri Ramirez said their analysis highlights a trend in using scholarships to attract new international students from specific markets.

“Interestingly, our data confirms that these country-specific scholarships were not directed to diversify markets but rather support recruitment strategies in key traditional markets,” he was quoted saying.

He added that there was a rise in universities targeting specific countries, with 15 providing scholarships for Indian and Indonesian students, 14 for Sri Lankan and Vietnamese students and 13 targeting Malaysia.

International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) chief executive Phil Honeywood told the daily that the international student sector, particularly around the return of Chinese students who made up one-third of all onshore students in 2019, is complex.

He said Australian institutions are determined to see market share improve, and scholarships help them achieve this.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Australian universities offered offshore students fee rebates, bursaries and scholarships for those studying online amid travel restrictions.