Students and professionals across the Asia-Pacific will now enjoy greater access to cross-border education, training and internships in the region following the launch of a new APEC Scholarship and Internship Initiative.

The initiative aggregates sponsored study and career development exchanges offered by universities and companies inAPEC member economiesand supports the creation of new opportunities by facilitating coordination among governments, higher learning institutions and companies in the region.

Applications are now being accepted through anonline portal, which was opened byAPEC Senior Officialsthis week.

The portal will help increase the mobility of students in the Asia-Pacific, and reach the APEC goal of one million university-level student exchanges annually by 2020.

In support of the scholarships portal, the Australian Government has established the Australia APEC Women in Research Fellowships.

High-achieving female researchers from APEC economies will be supported to pursue research opportunities in partnership with Australian education and research institutions for a period of one to four months. Up to ten fellowships of up to $18,500 each will be awarded each year to female researchers at the forefront of their research discipline.

“These new fellowships will support women’s economic empowerment in the region and will also address an important priority of APEC to raise the profile of female role models in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Minister for Education and Training Christopher Pyne.

“We are also better preparing Australian students to engage internationally. Australia has also boosted its outward student mobility through the New Colombo Plan which supports Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the Indo-Pacific,” he said.

These fellowships, which are aimed at Masters and PhD holders complements the New Colombo Plan which targets undergraduate students. Seven Griffith University students were awarded New Colombo Plan scholarships for2015, allowing them to undertake study in Japan, Hong Kong and China.

More information on the scholarships portal and the Australia APEC Women in Research Fellowships is available at