MBA Scholarships in Australia: Advice and Trends

Advice and trends for MBA scholarships in Australia

MBA scholarships continue to grow in significance among prospective students. This article offers a business school’s perspective and advice on MBA scholarships in Australia, with examples of the types of financial aid one can expect to find among its leading institutions.

In 2008, less than half (45%) of candidates signaled an intention to fund their studies with the aid of scholarships, according to respondents to QS’s annual international survey of prospective MBA students. In 2014 that number stands at 62%, marking a long-term trend. 

Asia Pacific is currently home to the highest proportion of prospective MBA students worldwide who intend to fund their studies through company sponsorship. Even so, the region’s applicants are above the global average in looking towards MBA scholarships for funding. Indeed, they list the availability of financial aid as the number one criterion when it comes to selecting a school of study. 

Of course, taking an MBA in Asia Pacific is certainly not restricted to those candidates already based there. The region is home to six of this year’s 20 most popular MBA study destinations – not least, Australia – ranking in the QS Applicant Survey 2014 as the world’s fourth favorite MBA destination.

Accessibility central to Melbourne Business School    

MBA scholarships in AustraliaMelbourne Business School’s associate dean for academic programs, Laura Bell, says that the school’s MBA scholarships have accessibility at their heart and estimates that as many as 70% of the current full-time MBA intake at Melbourne Business School have received some form of financial aid, ranging from partial to full scholarships. 

Talking more generally about MBA scholarships in Australia, Bell points out that they can be a great way to entice exceptional candidates to pick one school over another – hinting at a sense of competition on both sides of the application equation:

“Scholarships remain one of the primary ways for schools to attract the best and brightest students who often have multiple offers,” Bell says. 

Prospective MBA students advised to factor in living costs

Her advice to those seeking scholarships in Australia is particularly directed at international students, who may be unfamiliar with how much rent and food expenditure they will need to set aside when moving country:

“Financial aid usually only covers tuition fees. If students are looking at an international school, they need to also understand the cost of living expenses,” Bell cautions, adding that before accepting a place with a school, students should ensure that it can fulfill their aspirations:

“Students also need to understand whether the school in question will give them access to networks, careers advice and other support services to ensure that they are job-ready on graduation.”

On the subject of networks, Bell returns more specifically to Melbourne Business School to underline her belief in the importance its alumni attach to MBA scholarships, because they remain committed to giving back after graduation:

“The ethos is a cycle of giving and our alumni body feel strongly that the advantages they have received as an Melbourne Business School graduate should be experienced by others where possible,” she says which leads us back to the central tenet that the first and foremost role of MBA scholarships is fundamentally to improve accessibility to a qualification that doesn’t come cheap – wherever one chooses to study.

MBA scholarships in Australia – eligibility examples

MBA scholarships in Australia that are available direct from schools, as in other parts of the world, tend to be targeted towards increasing diversity among prospective MBA students  – along criteria such as gender, citizenship (i.e. domestic, international or from a particular country or region) or intended field of study or career background.

A quick survey of the top three business schools in Australia, according to international MBA employers, highlights these trends:

  • Melbourne Business School, through a link to Japan’s government, offers an MBA scholarship for citizens of the Asian Development Bank’s developing member states

(Please note: this is just one example from each school, rather than any attempt at a definitive guide, given to illustrate the different forms of eligibility available for scholarships in Australia.)

For more information about studying an MBA in Australia, consult QS’s country study guide

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Written by Tim Dhoul

Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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