New scheme brings
Australian university students will find opportunities to study in Asia more affordable from 2014, according to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Chris Bowen.
Asian studies closer
Mr Bowen said the Higher Education Support Amendment (Asian Century) Bill 2013 would provide greater financial assistance through the OS-HELP scheme for students wanting to undertake part of their study in Asia.
Mr Bowen said the proposed legislation would deliver on changes to the OS-HELP loan scheme announced in late 2012 as part of the Government's response to the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.
“The Government is committed to supporting Australian students to gain the Asian literacy skills they, and Australian businesses, will need to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the Asian Century,” Mr Bowen said.
“A key part of this is making overseas study experience in Asia more accessible for Australian students.
“The expanded loan scheme means more students across all disciplines will be able to develop the Asian literacy skills they will need by experiencing Asia first‑hand.”
He said the changes came in addition to the $37 million AsiaBound Grants Program for students undertaking short or semester-length study opportunities and for preparatory Asian language study.
“We recognise the need for more Australians to study in Asia to experience another culture, develop skills and build relationships - as the White Paper identified,” he said.
Mr Bowen said that while a growing number of students were undertaking part of their study in Asia, currently only one in eight OS-HELP loans were for study in Asia.
“Under this legislation, the maximum loan available for students undertaking study in Asia would be increased to $7,500 in 2014, $1,250 more than for other destinations,” he said.
Edition Edition 349, 19 February 2013