More Australian students will receive scholarships to study outside the capital cities to support regional communities and education providers.

The second round of applications for the Australian Government’s Destination Australia program allows regional universities and vocational education providers to apply to offer scholarships of up to $15,000 a student per year.

The Nationals in Government have already provided $19.5 million to 35 regional higher education and vocational education providers in 84 locations across Australia to host Destination Australia scholarship recipients.

This grant round will increase the number of scholarships by 250 with the Government providing $4 million a year over four years from semester one, 2021.

The scholarships are open to students to undertake a qualification from a Certificate IV through to a PhD in a regional community.

Federal Nationals Minister for Regional Education Andrew Gee encouraged all regional tertiary education providers to take advantage of the opportunity to attract new students to their campuses.

“We want to drive more people to study in regional areas and this is another opportunity for country Australia to share in the social, economic and cultural benefits of our tertiary education sector, to help them get back on their feet after recent devastating bushfires, drought and COVID-19,” Mr Gee said.

The Destination Australia program is part of The Nationals’ focus on regional higher education.

Regional Australia is a great place to learn and a great place to live and we want to support students to experience the benefits of regional life. This program will also ensure that regional communities and education providers share the benefits of our higher education system.

These scholarships will provide Australians with more opportunities to attain a vocational qualification for critical jobs in the economy.

With pathways to healthcare, aged care, logistics, and many more industries, the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector is providing qualifications that will be essential to Australia’s economic recovery.

Successful providers will be entitled to additional funding to allocate, administer and promote the scholarships to prospective international and domestic students.

Tertiary education providers should check their eligibility and apply via the Community Grants Hub. Applications close on July 7. Students can then apply directly to institutions.

For more information, visit www.education.gov.au/destination-australia.