The Australian government will provide a grant of US$2.53 billion (AUD 47 million) over four years for the AsiaBound programme with US$584 million (AUD 10.6 million) for the programme's first year of operation.
Jointly announced by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Minister for Higher Education and Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, the first group of AsiaBound student grants will allow 3,700 Australian students to study in Asia. Of these, more than 400 Australian students have been offered subsidies to study in India, an official statement from the Australian high commission here said.
"For Australian students, a study experience in India is an invaluable way to broaden their understanding of India's rich culture. This programme will boost essential people-to-people links between our two nations, forging deeper partnerships," Australia's High Commissioner to India, Patrick Suckling said, welcoming the programme.
With 390 active links between 32 Australian and approximately 250 Indian institutions already in place in the fields of joint research, student and staff exchange, joint supervision and credit transfer, Australian higher education institutions have strong linkages and partnerships with India.
The programme provides funding in the form of grants for Australian students to participate in a study experience in Asia for up to six months to undertake language study, a semester study programme, research trips, clinical placements or volunteer projects.
The students to India include nursing students volunteering in New Delhi-based orphanages; international development studies students engaging with community based non-government organisations in Bangalore, and emerging Australian producers, writers and directors experiencing India's vibrant television and film production.