The landscape of international scholarships in Australia is experiencing a transformative shift, with universities adapting their strategies to attract talented applicants from around the world.
In a comprehensive analysis of international scholarships conducted for 2023, key findings have shed light on the evolving nature of these programs and their impact on recruitment efforts.


This article explores highlights of the analysis, the shift towards merit-based scholarships, the rise of country-specific awards, and the need for universities to assess the effectiveness of their scholarship initiatives.


The Importance of Scholarships for Universities


Scholarships play a pivotal role in the recruitment strategies of Australian universities, enabling them to attract top talent and enhance their global reputation. However, the topic of scholarships is complex, with diverse approaches and objectives across institutions. Understanding and mapping the scholarship landscape of each university becomes crucial in order to evaluate their effectiveness and devise meaningful strategies.



Trends in International Scholarships:

The analysis of international scholarships in Australia focuses on scholarships offered specifically to new international students by Australian universities. It excludes scholarships for continuing students, research programs, and Study Abroad students, as well as those offered by foreign governments or external sources.

Despite a decline in the number of scholarship programs overall, the report reveals that all Australian universities now offer at least one scholarship to attract international students. Modifications were made during the COVID-19 pandemic, with an increase in the use of scholarships for those students studying offshore and online and changes in automatic fee waivers for compensating the lack of on-campus experiences.



Shift towards Merit-Based Scholarships:

Of particular significance is the transition from fee waivers to merit-based scholarships in 2023. Among the 573 scholarship programs available in Australian universities, 75% are now merit-based. This shift indicates a recognition of the importance of rewarding academic excellence and talent. Out of the 40 universities analysed, 35 now offer merit-based scholarships, showcasing the widespread adoption of this approach.


Country-Specific Scholarships and Market Targeting:

Another notable trend is the increase in country-specific scholarships. Rather than employing a generalised approach, Australian universities are focusing on specific markets such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. This shift is driven by the need to target scholarship-driven markets and increase diversity in international student populations. China, once a top target market, has dropped out of the top five.


The Effectiveness and Return on Investment:

As the demand for international scholarships in Australia continues to grow, universities face the challenge of evaluating the effectiveness and return on investment of these programs. It becomes crucial to determine the impact of scholarships on promoting the university brand in key recruitment markets. Scholarships will remain a vital tool for attracting talented applicants, and universities must understand the international scholarship landscape to develop meaningful strategies aligned with their goals.


The evolving landscape of international scholarships in Australian universities demands careful evaluation and strategic planning. The shift towards merit-based scholarships and country-specific awards highlights the changing dynamics of recruitment strategies. Universities must continuously assess the effectiveness of their scholarship programs, considering both general trends and specific details to gain perspective and understanding. By doing so, they can optimize their efforts in attracting talented international students and further enhancing the global reputation of Australian higher education.


Our 2023 Scholarships Report is available now!

Each year we conduct a thorough analysis of scholarships offered to new international students by all Australian universities. Don't miss the opportunity to gain access to this valuable data via a report and complete database of all scholarships (including all key scholarship information) available in Australia. Please contact us to purchase the report.  



VIDEO SUMMARY - 2023 Analysis of Scholarships for International Students

This is our most comprehensive analysis of scholarships for new #internationalstudents. After an extensive review of information, we obtained key information from more than 570 scholarship programs offered by all 40 Australian universities. In addition to our extensive review and to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the use of scholarships, we have classified each scholarship program to identify if the scholarships are considered fee waivers, merit-based scholarships and equity scholarships. This additional classification will provide an additional layer of understanding of how competitors use scholarships to support their student conversion strategies!




Learn more about our reports available

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