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heading foldHow we are helping

Estimated outcome for 2012/13

$943.4 million

Implementation of the revised 2013-14 budget is currently under discussion with partner governments and organisations.


Education enables development and is crucial to helping people overcome poverty. It also contributes to equity, health, governance, sustainable development and empowering women. Education is the largest sector of Australia’s aid program.

Promoting opportunities for all is one of the five strategic goals of Australia’s aid program. Guided by the education thematic strategy, Promoting Opportunities for All: Education, Australia’s aid program helps more children, particularly girls, to attend school for a longer and better education so they have the skills to build their own futures and, in time, escape poverty. We do this by:

  • improving access to school for all children and youth so that they complete a basic education
  • improving the quality of education so that all children and youth learn the basic skills needed to lead productive lives
  • assisting governments to deliver education services that provide a better quality education for all.


Under the Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework, Australia has committed to helping 4 million more children go to school by 2015-16. We will also train 190,000 teachers and 300,000 school officials to improve education quality and leadership. Progress towards these results will be tracked and reported on an annual basis. The aid program is achieving results and we are on track to meet these targets.

Globally, Australia is the fourth-largest donor to the Global Partnership for Education. Since 2002, their work has enabled 19 million more children to enrol in school (54 per cent girls), provided jobs for 300,000 new teachers, built 30,000 new classrooms, and distributed more than 200 million textbooks to primary schools.

For more examples of our results, watch the video below or view the detailed pages on our country and global programs.

This video slideshow provides an overview of Australia's efforts to improve access to basic education opportunities or all, improve learning outcomes, and drive development through better governance and service delivery so that partner governments support quality education for all.

Country programs

Global programs


Aid program funding to education

Australian ODA in 2013-14 by region

Region Spend
($A million)
Total 1,158.6
East Asia
South and West Asia
Africa and the Middle East 97.9
Latin America and the Caribbean 19.7
Rest of the world and unallocated 120.7

Australian ODA in 2013-14 by sub-sector

Sub-sector Spend
($A million)
Total 1,159
Education, level unspecified
Basic education
Secondary education
Post-secondary education 71
Scholarships and multi-sector training 425

Australia's development assistance for education, 2005-06 to 2013-14 ($ million)

Graph of Australian funding for education.
View a larger version

The graph above shows total aid program funding to education, 2005–06 to 2013–14.

The figures are:

  • 2005–06: AusAID $253,832,539, OGD $3,152,084
  • 2006–07: AusAID $346,945,538, OGD $7,113,696
  • 2007–08: AusAID $463,275,328, OGD $14,140,745
  • 2008–09: AusAID $487,821,369, OGD $13,937,915
  • 2009–10: AusAID $575,200,997, OGD $17,316,832
  • 2010–11: AusAID $698,214,798, OGD $31,561,080
  • 2011–12: AusAID $794,624,915, OGD $39,779,897
  • 2012–13 (estimated outcome): AusAID $904,186,115, OGD $39,180,585
  • 2013–14 (budget estimate): AusAID $1,124,375,759, OGD $34,186,086

Research overview

Good research can lead to positive change for the world’s poorest and improve the quality and effectiveness of development policies and programs. That’s why Australia is committed to a research portfolio that achieves impacts for the world’s poorest people. We fund research through:

  • competitive funding mechanisms (such as the Australian Development Research Awards)
  • research partnerships with different Australian, international and developing country research institutions
  • commissioning research to address a specific question or clearly defined research gap
  • one-off research grants, when an existing program of research is relevant to the Australian aid program.

More information on how Australian aid funds research

Randomised cluster control trial evaluating the impact of Early Childhood Education and Development initiative across Indonesia

This research evaluates the impact of an Early Child Education and Development project conducted by the Government of Indonesia via a US$12 million World Bank loan. Published in 2010, updated October 2012.

Read the research evaluation

Identifying strategies to sustain professional learning communities for teachers in remote primary schools in PNG

This research examines the major needs of professional learning for teachers in remote primary schools in PNG and the key policy and operational directions to build and sustain successful professional learning communities. Published in 2010, updated October 2012.

Read the research summary

A baseline study of the current status of engagement of Australian universities and research institutions in Education for Development

This research by The Centre for the Study of Higher Education, The University of Melbourne, evaluates the engagement of Australian universities and research institutions in Education for Development. Published in August 2012.

Read the baseline study


heading foldWhy we give aid


Education is essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and is an enabler of development. It helps people escape poverty. A good education is critical to improve income, employment and enterprise opportunities. For girls, extra years of basic education make a difference to employment opportunities, marriage age, health and their capacity to make better decisions about their lives and those of their children. For children with disabilities, education opens doors to social inclusion and independence. Education enables communities to make choices about their future, and contributes to good governance and sustainable development.

Find out more about why we support education


heading foldHow we give aid

Guided by the Education Thematic Strategy, Promoting Opportunities for All: Education we work to increase access to quality education for all children. We base our investments on what works, is effective aid and achieves results. Australia provides a mix of support, enhancing partnerships with partner governments, multilateral organisations, NGOs, civil society organisations and the private sector. Our geographic focus is Asia and the Pacific.

Find out how we support education


heading foldProgress Against MDGs

  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women

   MDG 2 - Achieve universal primary education

  • The total number of children out of school has fallen from 108 million in 1999 to 57 million in 2011.

   MDG 3 - Promote gender equality and    empower women

  • Gender parity in primary and secondary school has improved among developing countries in the past 10 years.
  • Some countries in the Asia Pacific region have already achieved gender parity in primary and/or secondary school enrolments.

Last reviewed: 1 November, 2013