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MEDIA RELEASE

Filipino Students to Benefit from Australian Funded Scholarships

I am pleased to announce details of a new 5 year, $29.5 million scholarship scheme which will assist Filipino students to further their education.

Today the Philippine Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr Domingo Siazon, and I signed a memorandum of understanding outlining arrangements for aid-funded scholarships to Australia.

Under the arrangements 40 per cent will be awarded in the merit equity category with 60 per cent of total scholarships allocated to the Public Sector. The emphasis on poverty alleviation is reinforced with about one third of all awards going to residents of the Visayas and Mindanao.

Students will undertake studies in human development, development financing, agriculture, infrastructure and administration.

The Philippines Program is Australia's fourth largest aid program after Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Vietnam with official funding through AusAID, Australia's Agency for International Development, expected to total $57 million this year.

Australia's aid program can assist developing countries meet the educational needs of their people by increasing access to education and promoting equity in the distribution of educational opportunities.

I will also be visiting Australia's largest aid project in the Philippines tomorrow. Through the Philippines-Australia Project in Basic Education (PROBE) Australia is already assisting with improvements to basic education standards and services. PROBE will benefit 600 teacher trainers and education specialists, 8 500 teachers and about one million children in 880 schools.

MANILA

Media contact:
Canberra: Innes Willox (Minister's Office) 02 6277 7500 / 0411 414 695 Mark Giffard (AusAID) 02 6206 4966
Manila: Greg Hunt (Minister's Office) 527 2025 / 0912 202 6790

Last reviewed: 25 February, 2013