Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are Australia Awards Scholarships?

Australia Awards Scholarships are long term study and professional development opportunities. They are available to suitably qualified Mongolian citizens who fit the priority employment sectors, fields of study and specialist areas agreed between the Governments of Mongolia and Australia.

For general information about the Australia Awards, visit Australia Awards website.

2. What are the eligibility criteria for the Australia Awards Scholarships?

There are a number of criteria that must be met for an application to be eligible. There are general criteria that apply to applicants worldwide.

There are also criteria specific to Mongolia. These are listed in the Country Profile. Applicants must meet all criteria to be eligible to be considered further. Applicants must be aware that criteria can differ depending on where they live in Mongolia and whether they declare a disability. Australia Awards-Mongolia provides reasonable adjustments and considerations for both provincial/ rural applicants and for people with disability who apply.

 

3. At what level are Australia Awards Scholarships offered?

Australia Awards Scholarships are offered at Master’s level by Coursework or Research.

 

4. What is the duration of an Australia Awards Scholarship?

Scholarships are offered for the minimum duration required, as specified in the university course information. The maximum duration for a Master’s degree is two years (104 weeks). The chosen course duration can be lower than 104 weeks.

 

5. What is required to apply for a Masters by Research?

Master’s by Research is available to applicants who demonstrate the need to undertake research, or teach or supervise research on return to Mongolia.

Applicants wishing to study a Master’s by Research must have written in-principle agreement from a university research supervisor for their research proposal. This agreement must be provided with the OASIS application.

Australian higher education institutions’ websites identify their area of research strength.

 

6. Can I apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship if I have studied abroad previously?

Yes, but preference is given to applicants who have not studied abroad previously.

 

7. Can applicants with a Master’s degree apply for a scholarship for a degree at the same level?

Yes. Applicants may apply for a Master’s degree if it is in a different field of study to previous studies. In selecting awardees, however, preference is given to those without previous overseas study experience. An applicant who already holds a Master’s degree must include the details in their application.

Previous recipients of Australia Awards Scholarships may apply, but the policy detailed in the Australia Awards Scholarships Policy Handbook requires them to have been back in Mongolia for twice the length of the total time they were in Australia.

 

8. How do I find an appropriate course and institution?

Applicants are expected to research Australian universities to find the best courses that meet their background, work experience and leadership ambitions to influence development in Mongolia. Read our guide on researching courses.

Australia Awards are available only for courses listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) website. This is the official Australian Government website that lists all Australian universities offering courses to people studying in Australia on student visas. Read this list of the Australian universities

Applicants do not need an offer of a place at a university when they apply, but they should visit university websites and make sure preferred courses are on the CRICOS website. Applicants must include two-course choices and university preferences in their applications.

 

9. What is required by an employee from Category 1 to apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship?

Unless you are a person with a declared and verified disability, you must:

  • have been employed for the last two years continuously in the public sector
  • be employed by the central and/ or local government, public university, hospital, school, or state-owned enterprises in the same sector for that period
  • meet all eligibility criteria.

If you have a declared and verified disability, you are exempt from this work experience criterion.

 

10. What is required by an employee from Category 2 to apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship?

Unless you are a person with a declared and verified disability, you must:

  • have been employed for the last two years continuously
  • employed in a private sector, civil society, and non-government organisations, private health, educational institutions, and country-based offices of international organisations in the same sector for that period
  • meet all eligibility criteria.

If you have a declared and verified disability, you are exempt from this work experience criterion.

11. What levels of IELTS/ iBT-TOEFL/ PTE are required to apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship?

Candidates have achieved an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 (with no individual band score of less than 5.5) or an equivalent iBT-TOEFL or PTE score, valid on 1 January 2023, are eligible to apply. If selected, these candidates will be offered up to six months of English Language Training in Mongolia. Candidates who do not achieve IELTS 6.5 or equivalent by the end of the language training will forfeit their scholarship.

Please note: Some courses require higher entry levels of English language proficiency. Applicants must achieve the level required by the university.

Please note: Academic IELTS and iBT-TOEFL certificates are valid for two years. Therefore, they must be dated no earlier than 1 January 2021. Only Academic IELTS/ iBT-TOEFL/ PTE scores are accepted for Australia Awards. General IELTS or TOEFL Test Home edition and Institutional TOEFL scores are not accepted.

Please note: No exemption from the English language proficiency test is provided to those who gained tertiary education abroad in English. All applicants must have a valid IELTS/ iBT-TOEFL/ PTE certificate.

 

12. Can IELTS/ iBT-TOEFL/ PTE test certificates be submitted after the scholarship application?

No. An Academic IELTS/ iBT-TOEFL/ PTE test certificate must be submitted with the online application.

13. How is the two-year work experience requirement calculated?

Except for people with disabilities who are exempt from the work experience requirement, all applicants, whether from Category 1 or Category 2, must have the last two years’ continuous employment. The last two years is calculated back from the opening date for applications, 1 February 2022.

Please note: Any time a woman is on maternity leave during the two years leading into 1 February 2022 counts as part of her work experience.

 

14. Does the two years’ work experience have to be with the same employer?

Category 1 applicants must have been employed in the public sector for the previous two years but may have held positions in different departments or agencies.

Category 2 applicants can have worked for different employers for the previous two years.

 

15. Does evidence of two years’ continuous employment have to be included with an application?

Yes. Social Insurance Payment Book must confirm continuous employment for two years leading into 1 February 2022.

Applicants with a declared and verified disability are exempt from this requirement.

Please note: applicants two-years’ continuous work requirement should be counted from the date of graduation of bachelor’s or master’s course and backed up by certified Social Insurance monthly payments. Voluntary Social Insurance payments will not be accepted as verification of employment duration.

16. How are applications and supporting documents submitted?

All applications are to be submitted online, together with all supporting documents. Applications must be lodged on OASIS by 30 April 2022.

Applications not completed and submitted online by 30 April 2022 will not be considered. There is a size limit for uploading documents with the online application in OASIS; it is recommended that all documents are saved as PDF versions, ensuring low file size while ensuring high-quality readability.

17. What if I do not have internet access to complete an application online?

If you cannot access the internet, contact the Australia Awards-Mongolia office to discuss options. Contact the office as early as possible so you do not disadvantage yourself during the application period. Please be aware that the online application system is closed by the deadline.

18. What supporting documents are required with an application?

The documents that must be uploaded with your application are listed in the Country Profile. Note the documents to be notarised and those that require English versions. If a document has several pages (for example, pages of the social insurance payment book), submit them as a single document under the correct name, rather than naming and numbering each page repeatedly, or differently.  Please bear in mind that uploading too many single files may generate an error on the system resulting in an ineligible application.

Note there are different requirements for Master’s by Coursework and Master’s by Research applicants as outlined in the Country Profile.

19. How are applications assessed and selected?

There are three steps for applicants from both Category 1 and Category 2:

  • Step1: Applications are checked to make sure they meet eligibility requirements and that all required documents are attached.
  • Step 2: Eligible applications are assessed and ranked by independent specialist consultants.
  • Step 3: Some applicants are short-listed from those assessed by the independent special consultants. They are invited to an interview with the Interview Panel chaired by a senior DFAT officer and representatives from the Government of Mongolia and other representative organisations. All interviewees are required to bring to their interview, original copies of their Mongolian citizen identity cards and passports for residency checks and original copies of their academic qualifications and transcripts.

Once the panel makes its recommendations, the list is forwarded to DFAT where the delegate has final approval as to who will be made offers.

Applicants are encouraged to watch the videos on the Australia Awards-Mongolia website for more information about application and selection processes.

20. Who can certify university academic transcripts?

University academic transcripts and degree certificates must be notarised by a Public Notary.

If an applicant is short-listed and invited for an interview, she/ he must bring their original documents with them for them to be sighted and certified as true and accurate.

21. What courses can be studied under an Australia Awards Scholarship?

First of all, choose two similar courses, preferably at two different universities based on thorough research and analysis. Courses must align with the priority fields of study and areas of specialisation for 2022 these are found in the Country Profile.

Courses can be no longer than 104 weeks.

Applicants should also refer to the guide on researching courses.

22. Should proposed courses be in the field previously studied?

Not necessarily. Master’s applicants who nominate a course in a field of study different from their academic background can be considered, depending on their work experience and career goals. Their application must demonstrate how the knowledge and skills gained from the proposed studies will advance Mongolia’s development on return from Australia.

Anyone with a Master’s degree in a particular field cannot apply for an Australia Awards Scholarships in the same field.

For any selected course, applicants must have relevant background studies. For example, applicants for Economics require strong Mathematical backgrounds in their qualifications.

23. Can course of study be changed after the application submission?

Generally, no. Candidates are nominated based on the courses of study selected. Consequently, changing courses of study will not be approved unless there are circumstances beyond the candidates’ control. It is important that applicants think carefully about courses and research them thoroughly before submitting the online application.

DFAT reserves the right to consider requests for changes to courses on a case-by-case basis.

24. Do applicants for Master’s by Research need to find supervisors for their studies to be accepted by Australian universities?

Yes. An applicant applying for a Master’s by Research must submit written evidence of a supervisor for the research proposal. Contact a potential supervisor as soon as possible because it can be a time-consuming exercise.

25. When will applicants be notified that they have been awarded a scholarship?

Successful candidates will be notified no later than August 2021, although this may change depending on the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

26. What entitlements come with an Australia Awards Scholarship?

Scholarship entitlements are offered for the minimum period necessary to complete the university study program, including any preparatory training. Scholarship entitlements are listed in the Australia Awards Scholarships Policy Handbook.

Recipients who travel alone to Australia and whose course of study is two years in duration are entitled to a return airfare to Mongolia after one year of satisfactory study. See the Australia Awards Scholarships Policy Handbook.

Awardees with disability are provided with additional support based on their circumstances and it will be detailed in a Disability Support Agreement.

27. What are the responsibilities of Australia Awards Scholarship awardees?

Before awardees take up a scholarship they enter into a legal agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia. This agreement contains detailed information about responsibilities.

In general, awardees are required to: complete the Academic Preparation Program in Mongolia, participate in the university’s Introductory Academic Program (IAP) and other required preparatory study on arrival in Australia; commit to their studies and meet all the expectations of the university; achieve satisfactory academic progress; maintain contact with the Student Contact Officer at their university; abide by the laws of Australia, and strictly adhere to the conditions of their visa.

Awardees are required to leave Australia for at least two years after their studies.

28. Can awardees bring their families to Australia?

Yes – but they are advised to wait six months until they have settled into their new environment – before family members join them. The Australian Government provides no financial or other support for dependents of awardees. Dependents are entirely the responsibility of the awardee.

Please note that the Australia Awards-Mongolia office does not assist with travel arrangements for family members, apart from requesting a No Objection Letter from DFAT.

For information on awardees’ responsibilities for spouses and dependent children in Australia, visit the Department of Home Affairs website or the university where you wish to study.

29. Can I stop over on the way to Australia or travel to Australia early for a holiday?

No. Travel is organised by the most direct route to your final destination in Australia. Travel is cost-effective and aims to minimise the risks of in-transit and visa problems in third countries.

30. How do I collect my air ticket? Who makes the travel arrangements?

After receiving a Student Visa (subclass 500), the Australia Awards-Mongolia office will book your flight, take care of your travel arrangements, and arrange for you to receive your ticket. You need to present a copy of a valid visa to the Australia Awards-Mongolia office to receive an air ticket.

31. What is the maximum weight of luggage allowed for students?

Luggage allowances vary between airlines. You must check with the airline with whom you will be flying. You must pay for any excess luggage costs yourself.

32. How do I get to the city where my university is located?

You will receive all air tickets (both international and domestic) to reach the city where your university is located.

33. Will there be anyone from the university to meet me at the airport? Where will I stay?

After you receive your visa, and before you leave for Australia, contact the university Student Contact Officer (SCO), and let them know your travel details. Once they know your plans, they will arrange for you to be met and explain the procedures when you arrive.

When contacting the SCO, explain your accommodation requirements. They can arrange temporary accommodation for you on arrival. This will be at your cost. You will need to arrange long-term accommodation. The SCO can assist you with this, but it is your responsibility.

34. How important is the Introductory Academic Program (IAP)?

It is important. Attendance at the IAP is mandatory.

35. Can I contact my employer organisation during my academic year?

Yes. Staying connected with your workplace in Mongolia is encouraged and supported through a formal Communication Agreement and as part of your Reintegration Plan.

36. Do I have to maintain a minimum grade to continue after the first year?

Yes. You must demonstrate satisfactory progress in your studies. Failure to do so may result in an Award being terminated.

37. Can I change my field of study once I reach Australia?

No. Your application was assessed, and you were selected based on your nominated course of study.

38. Do I get any money before I leave for Australia?

No. An Establishment Allowance and fortnightly Cost of Living Allowance is paid after you arrive in Australia and have registered with your university. The university Student Contact Officer will provide full details regarding payment of allowances during the Introductory Academic Program in Australia; ​with initial information provided to mobilising Awardees a few weeks prior to departure from Mongolia.

39. Do I need to have extra funds with me when I arrive in Australia?

Yes. Experience shows that you should have AUD500 in cash when you leave the airport in Australia. This will help cover costs such as food and transport before you set up a bank account. There are currency exchanges in all international airports, or you can exchange currency in Mongolia before you leave. Make sure you know Mongolia’s regulations about the amount you can take with you.

40. How much money do I need to live in Australia?

This depends on whether you are alone, or your family joins you. If your family remains in Mongolia, you may have to support them while you are in Australia. If your family accompanies you, the Australian Government requires you to have enough funds to support them in Australia. Full details of this are available on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.

41. Who finds long-term accommodation for me? Is there on-campus accommodation for Awardees?

You need to find your own long-term accommodation although the Student Contact Officer can help. There is some on-campus accommodation but no special treatment for Australia Awards scholarship holders. Talk to your Student Contact Officer about options.

42. What support is available to me to bring my spouse and dependents to Australia?

The Australian Government provides no additional financial support for an awardee’s dependents (spouse and children under 18). Awardees also need to arrange Overseas Health Cover for their dependents.

43. Who is regarded as a dependent under the Australia Awards?

In Australia, dependants are spouses/ partners and children under 18-years of age. Under Australian visa requirements parents, parents-in-law or siblings of a scholar are not dependents. They cannot accompany scholars to Australia.

44. How can I find safe, secure accommodation?

There is a wide range of secure accommodation. You can arrange accommodation for yourself or through the university. Talk with your Student Contact Officer (SCO).

45. Are there religious restrictions in Australia?

Anyone can practice their religion without restriction. People can wear what they want, pray, go to churches, temples, and mosques as they need. Australia has effective law enforcement systems to support individual rights and independence.

46. Can my children attend school?

Yes. Each state has an excellent education system, and it is compulsory for school-age children to attend school. Children are provided with a healthy and encouraging environment where their cultural and religious backgrounds are considered. Professional, qualified, and trained teachers make it easy for international students to adjust to a schooling system.

47. Can my children access childcare, even if they do not speak English?

Yes. Children can access childcare if there are spaces available at the times you want. Childcare centres are supervised by trained staff and offer meals, toilet care, activity groups, play areas, afternoon nap areas and emergency arrangements. A childcare admission form includes sections on religion. Childcare centres may be able to arrange short-term language support for children who cannot speak English.

48. What assistance can I expect during my stay in Australia?

All universities have student services centres to help awardees and provide emergency support. These centres can help arrange accommodation, access family support and, where possible, meet any special needs. Australian universities also have health and counselling services that are free (or offered at cheaper rates to students) and a range of sporting, shopping, and other campus facilities.

49. Can I celebrate our national, religious, and cultural festivals?

Yes. Most capital cities have community groups that come together to celebrate religious, cultural and/ or national events and festivals.

50. Can I work part-time while studying in Australia?

Yes. Awardees can work up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during vacations. You must inform your Student Contact Officer (SCO) before accepting work. Your student visa (subclass 500) provides some limitations on work while in Australia, breaching these limitations may affect your visa status, please review this carefully with your SCO.

51. Can my spouse work while accompanying me on my scholarship?

Yes. Your spouse can work full-time while accompanying you.

52. Is Australia disability-friendly?

Yes. Most public places, including universities, markets, and parks, are custom-built or being upgraded to be disability friendly. For example, universities have accessible lifts, parking, campus services and toilets. Most universities have dedicated disability services that provide free, confidential services to students with disabilities.

Universities also have health and counselling services that are free or offered at cheaper rates for students, and international student services centres where students can make appointments to discuss matters impacting on their lives in Australia.

University accommodation and many private apartments have elevators to access to buildings and houses. It is important to note that private housing is not always customised, and awardees should check this when considering accommodation options.

Universities are committed to making reasonable accommodation for awardees with disabilities. You will know the support you will receive before you depart Mongolia.

53. Will I be able to use public transport?

Australia has extensive public transport infrastructure (rail, tram, ferries, buses, and taxis) linking different parts of a city. Most public transport is customised to enable disability and baby pram access. Trains and buses usually have exclusive spaces for wheelchairs. Support for vision-impaired individuals is common in Australian cities and includes braille on elevator buttons and in trains and buses, or specific sounds at traffic lights, or markers on footpaths to guide those who use canes – your SCO will help you access appropriate training to understand these during your first weeks in Australia.

54. Will I be able to shop for groceries and other necessities?

Australia has well-developed retail outlets, located conveniently across cities and towns, where you can do weekly/ monthly shopping at affordable prices. Large retail stores are designed to enable disability access.

Australian universities are obliged to ensure awardees with disabilities have access to necessary support mechanisms to live as successfully and independently as possible while on-award.

55. What support services, equipment or devices will be available to me? For example, can I have a disability carer/ support person?

Support such as disability services, equipment or devices are assessed on a case-by-case basis to assist awardees with disabilities. This can include academic and non-academic support such as additional financial support for disability carers or support persons, medical costs, specialist equipment or devices. Support can include changes to the way a person with a disability enrols in a course, alterations to the physical environment and other facilities, alternative methods in the way teaching is delivered and skills are assessed.

Australian universities are obliged to ensure awardees with disabilities have access to necessary support mechanisms for their studies, such as altered learning materials and accessibility throughout the university.