Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What are the priority sectors?

The priority sectors are agriculture, education, governance, health, law and justice, and transport and infrastructure.

Do the priority sectors apply to public servants only? What sectors can applicants who are not public servants apply under?

All public and non-public sector applicants must be contributing to one of the six priority sectors to be eligible to apply. The Australia Awards Scholarships target six priority sectors – agriculture, education, governance, health, law and justice, and transport and infrastructure

Can I apply for a study topic that is not listed as a priority?

Yes, you can apply for a study topic that contributes to one of the six priority sectors and which is not listed as a priority topic. However, all applicants need to be able to justify in their application answers why the area of study is important for the sector and for PNG’s development.

Can I apply for a Bachelor degree?

Most scholarships are offered at postgraduate level. A Bachelor degree application may be considered for an applicant living with disability and/or to study a topic that cannot be studied in PNG.

What do public servants need to know?

If you work for a public sector organisation, please direct enquiries about the public category Training Bid requirements to the Department of Personnel Management.

Public category applicants also submit: 1) Duly completed Bid form (signed and stamped by Chairman, Training Committee/ Agency Head); 2) Copy of stamped Learning and Development Plan to the Department of Personnel Management. 

  • Employees of public category organisations are considered public category applicants.
  • Temporary contractors of public sector universities and research institutions are not considered public category applicants. They must state their contract type in their scholarship application.

Can I apply with a paper application, or by sending my application by email or USB?

Applications for Intake 2020 will be accepted online through the Australian Government Online Australia Awards Scholarship Information System (OASIS) website. This website can be found on the DFAT page.

If you are a person living with disability and need guidance in applying online, please contact the Australia Awards Team for assistance.

What should I attach to my application?

Applicants need to attach the following to their application:

  • Copies of valid ID documents (NID card plus birth certificate; or current passport)
  • Copies of academic documents certified by a Commissioner of Oath
  • Completed Reintegration Plan
  • Completed Professional Support Statement 

Research applicants must also attach confirmation from their supervisor, a copy of their research proposal, two academic references, and any publications they may have.

How do I certify my academic documents?

  • You must provide certified copies of your prior academic certificates and transcripts as part of your scholarship application.
  • Copies of your academic certificates and transcripts must be certified by a PNG Commissioner of Oath.
  • You must ask the Commissioner of Oath to sign, stamp and date your copies.
  • The date of the certification must be 1 January 2018 or later.
  • Commissioner of Oath stamping can be requested at the court house and from registered lawyers. Typically there is no fee for this service.
  • Please note: copies of academic certificates and transcripts submitted without Commissioner of Oath certification cannot be assessed as part of your application and your application will be non-compliant.

Are my course preferences important?

You must nominate two-course preferences on your scholarship application. Your two-course preferences are very important, because:

  • Your suitability for the scholarship will be assessed based on your application responses about your nominated two courses.
  • Course changes will not be possible after you submit your scholarship application, so you must be confident that the two-course preferences you nominate on your application are the appropriate choices.
  • You are responsible for fully researching and investigating course options prior to submitting your application.
  • Remember to check that you meet the institution’s entry requirements for the courses you nominate.

When I nominate two-course preferences, do I get to study both courses?

If you are successful, you will only study one-course preference. Australia Awards will attempt to enrol you in your first-course preference. If the institution is not able to accept your enrolment, then Australia Awards will attempt to enrol you in your second-course preference. The second-course preference is a back-up option.

What course information do I need to provide on my application?

You need to ensure the course name, institution name and CRICOS reference code for your two-course preferences are recorded on your application.

How do I find courses and CRICOS codes?

  • CRICOS stands for Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas S
  • We recommend you first visit the CRICOS website
    • Visit this the CRICOS search page
    • Click on Course Search
    • Adjust the search criteria to explore available courses. For example, type your topic into the Course Name field, or search for a particular field of study.
    • The search will provide a list of courses that meet your search criteria.
    • Click on one of the course options.
    • It will display for the Institution Name, Course Name, CRICOS Course Code, and other information.
    • Write down the courses you are interested in.
  • We recommend you visit the relevant university websites and undertake thorough research on the courses you are interested in studying. We suggest you consider:
    • The duration of the course.
    • The entry requirements stated on the university website.
    • The course structure and any course specialisations.
    • Click on the individual subjects to see what is included in each aspect of the course.
    • The relevance of the content of the individual subjects to your work in PNG.
    • The impact this course could have on expanding your knowledge and skills.
    • The academic staff that teach the course – consider the key people and their specialisations.
    • The reputation of the institution within your sector. For example, if you work in agriculture, consider if the university has a strong reputation in the agriculture sector.
  • Once you have a list of courses that meet your knowledge and skill development needs, consider speaking to people in your network – explore what they know about the courses and institutions you are considering.
  • If you have questions about the course, email the institution directly and ask questions. Remember to allow sufficient time for the institution to respond.

FAQs: Submitting an application

How do I submit my application?

We recommend applicants read the OASIS Intake 2020 User Guide for Applicants

OASIS Application Tips
  • You must register for your own unique OASIS log-in and password.
  • Do not submit your application using another person’s log-in and password.
  • We recommend using a non-work email address, such as Gmail or Hotmail. Work emails may have firewalls that block outside addresses and at times can be offline. Consider using a reliable email account for your scholarship application.
  • It is recommended OASIS be accessed using Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers.
  • You do not need to start, finish and submit your application all at once. You can complete your application over a period of time and save it as you go.
  • Each page will begin with Help Text, which explains how to complete the application page.
  • If you do not complete the mandatory fields on the application page, an error message will appear in red.
  • The answer boxes on each application page have character limits. Characters are letters, spaces and punctuation marks. If you exceed the character limit, an error will appear and your response might not save until you reduce the number of characters.
  • A checklist is shown in OASIS on the left hand side of the webpage. A tick symbol indicates that the application section has been completed. The x symbol indicates the section is incomplete.
Summary: OASIS Registration Steps
  1. Visit the site.
  2. Click Logon/Register
  3. Click on Register New Account
  4. Register with your Email, Name (as per ID document/passport), Date of Birth and Contact Number.
  5. A temporary password will then be sent to your email address.
  6. Log-in with the temporary password provided and follow the instructions to set a new password.
  7. You now have access to the application system.
Summary – OASIS Application Steps
  1. Logon to your OASIS account.
  2. Click Applications in the side menu.
  3. Click on +Create New Application.
  4. Select Australia Award Scholarships from the drop-down menu.
  5. Follow the prompts and continue to the sections of the application.
  6. The application sections will show on the left, as follows:
    1. Personal details
    2. Contact details
    3. Spouse details
    4. Children details
    5. Emergency contact details
    6. Previous scholarships
    7. Scholarship applications
    8. Proposed study program
    9. Qualifications
    10. English language details
    11. Computer literacy details
    12. Computer training details
    13. Current employment
    14. Previous employment
    15. Supporting statement
    16. Professional memberships
    17. Communication
    18. Documentary evidence
    19. Declaration
  7. You can save your application and complete it over a period of time.
  8. Remember to submit your application before midnight (AEST) on 30 April 2019. 

How do I complete the English test section of the OASIS online application?

  1. Select English as your second language (if English is your second language).
  2. Select “None” if you have not sat a test previously.
  3. Select “IELTS” in the drop down box.
  4. Enter 1 July 2019 as your estimated test date.

FAQs: Next steps after applying

What are the next steps after applications close?

The following schedule will be followed after applications close on 30 April 2019:

1 – 30 Jun 2019            Application assessment scoring and ranking
Mid Jul 2019                 Longlisted applicants invited to IELTS and STAT tests
Late Jul 2019                 IELTS and STAT tests held
Early Aug 2019              Shortlisted applicants invited to interviews
Mid Aug 2019               Interviews held for shortlisted applicants
Mid Sep 2019               Successful applicants notified
14 Oct – 1 Nov 2019      Mandatory Pre-Departure Training for all Intake 2020 candidates
Jan – Mar 2020              Intake 2020 candidates travel to Australia (depending on course start dates)

Who needs to do the IELTS and STAT tests?

Only long-listed candidates will be contacted and invited to attend the two tests:

  • International English Language Test System (IELTS)
  • Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)

The Australia Awards office will organise your test enrolments and provide logistical support for you to attend the tests if you live outside Port Moresby.

Due to the timeline for the assessment and selection process, you will be notified about the tests approximately two weeks before the test dates. We recommend you consider preparing for the tests in advance, so that you are adequately prepared in the event that you are invited to sit the tests. 

You must bring your NID card and original birth certificate, or your passport, to the test on the day.  If you have lost your ID, you will not be able to sit the test and you will be removed from the scholarship longlist.

The IELTS is a test of your listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. Most Australian universities have a minimum IELTS score required for entry to their courses. 

Free online practice tests for IELTS are available through IDP. We recommend you prepare by completing a few of the practice tests.

A STAT candidate information booklet can be downloaded from the Australian Council for Educational Research website

Who attends interviews?

Following the tests, a shortlist of candidates will be agreed and endorsed by the Governments of Australia and PNG. Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend a panel interview. Logistical arrangements will be provided by the Australia Awards Office for candidates who reside outside Port Moresby. 

FAQs: On-scholarship

Who arranges my visa?

The Australia Awards office will support the awardee in arranging their student visa. Awardees are responsible for arranging their dependents’ visas.

Can I bring my children with me to Australia while I undertake the scholarship?

Awardees dependents (including spouse and children) may be able to accompany them to Australia. Awardees are responsible for arranging their dependents visas to go to Australia. Awardees are required to meet the requirements for their dependents, including demonstrating sufficient funds.

Can my children attend school in Australia?

Australia is well known for its quality education system and offer a range of different education options. For more information on Australia’s education system visit www.studyinaustralia.gov.au

Can I access childcare for my children (even if they have limited or no understanding of English)?

A range of childcare options are available in Australia, depending on availability of spaces and your ability to pay fees. Childcare can be very expensive. Formal facilities such as childcare centres are one option as well as informal services such as babysitters and nannies.

It is the responsibility of the awardee to organise appropriate childcare support for their accompanying children. Note, it is illegal for children under the age of 18 years to be left home alone without supervision in Australia.         

Is there an age limit for applying for an Australia Awards Scholarship?

There are no formal age limits, however the Australia Awards aim to identify individuals that upon completion of their scholarship will return to Papua New Guinea and contribute to the country’s development (both professionally and within the community).

If I am successful in my scholarship application and I become pregnant will my scholarship be terminated?

Pregnant applicants are encouraged to share this information with Australia Awards Office at their earliest opportunity, so planning can be undertaken about the best time to commence studies. Awardees will be assessed equally. Pregnant applicants will not be disadvantaged.

Can we celebrate our religious, cultural and national festivals?

Being a multicultural society, many Australian cities have PNG and Pacific Islander populations who have formed community groups. People often get together in Australia to celebrate religious, cultural and/or national events and festivals.

What assistance will be available to me during my stay in Australia?

All universities in Australia have student service centres that provide guidance and emergency support to students during their stay in Australia. The student service centres can help students in arranging accommodation, accessing family support and to meet, to the extent possible, any special needs of the students. Australian Universities also have health and counselling services that are free or discounted for students, as well as a range of sporting, shopping and other facilities on campus. In addition, Australia Awards provide on-scholarship support to awardees in Australia.

Can I work part-time while studying in Australia?

Currently Australia Awards recipients are permitted to work part-time (up to 20 hours a week) under the conditions of the subclass 500 student visa. It is important you inform your Student Contact Officer to ensure it does not affect your academic progress.

Can my spouse work while accompanying me on my scholarship?

Please refer to the Australian Department of Home Affairs for information about the conditions of your dependents visa.

Can I apply for a scholarship for Intake 2020 if I applied in the past and I was unsuccessful?

There is no limit to how many years in a row an applicant can apply for an Australia Award Scholarship. Applicants are assessed based on their current application, and their past applications will not be re-assessed.

Can people with disability apply for a scholarship?

People with disabilities are encouraged to apply for a scholarship. People will not be disadvantaged by declaring their disability. Reasonable adjustments and accommodations will be made to remove barriers for people with disabilities. However, all applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for the scholarship and submit a compliant application.

If you have a disability, please contact the Australia Awards office to request a copy of the Factsheet for People with Disability. This contains detailed information about support available.

In addition, please refer to the Australia Awards Scholarship Policy Handbook for further information

Troubleshooting Applications

I’ve misplaced my OASIS application password – what should I do?

Go to the log-in page, enter your email and click on ‘Forgotten my password?’. It will ask you to answer a reminder question. Then a temporary password will be sent to your email address.

My application won’t submit, what should I do?

If you have not completed all mandatory questions in the application, the system will not allow you to submit the application. All questions marked with an asterisk symbol (*) are mandatory questions and must be completed.

I don’t have an English language test result, what should I do?

This question is not mandatory. If you do not have an English language test result, leave this answer blank.

If I need help using the online application system, what should I do?

First read all the instructions provided by Australia Awards PNG.

Next, please refer to the OASIS Application System User Guide

If you still are experiencing issues, please contact us. Please note response times may vary, depending on number of enquiries.