The Australian government is offering 50 scholarships to citizens of ASEAN countries, including five Bruneians, to undertake masters-level study in Australia starting in 2019.

An initiative of the recent ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, the scholarships are aimed at contributing positive outcomes for the region, including poverty reduction, human rights and gender equality.

“Australia and Brunei Darussalam share a close bond, embedded in our people-to-people links. Education has played a major role in developing this close bond,” said Australian High Commissioner to Brunei, Nicola Rosenblum.

On completion, graduates will become part of the Australian Global Alumni network, a “vast and actively supported community of influential alumni”, said the high commission.

Applications for the Australia Awards ASEAN scholarships close on April 30. For more information on how to apply visit

Over 12,000 Bruneians have studied in Australia, which after the UK is the second most popular destination for Bruneian students. 

Rosenblum said education remains the cornerstone of Australia’s engagement with Southeast Asia and is supported by measures such as the New Colombo Plan and the Australia Awards.

Over the past four years, the New Colombo Plan has brought 80 Australian students to Brunei for internships and undergraduate study.

“In the past few years the education relationship has expanded and it’s a bit more two-way now,” the envoy told The Scoop in a recent interview.

“For the first time this year, Bruneian teachers also participated in the ASEAN-Australia BRIDGE programme which promotes direct collaboration between schools, where you see Bruneian teachers going on an education exchange to Australia, and later in the year Australian students will come to see the schools those teachers work at.”

“It is a great way to grow those education connections and help spread awareness about Australia and ASEAN,” she said.