Australia-China Council (ACC) Scholarships

Building Bridges: Exploring Opportunities That Once Were (Australia-China Council Scholarships)

The Australia-China Council (ACC), established in 1978, played a pivotal role in fostering cultural exchange and academic collaboration between Australia and China. One of the key initiatives it offered was the Australia-China Council Scholarships, which provided financial support for Australian students pursuing studies in China.

Unfortunately, the Australian Government decommissioned the ACC in 2018. This blog post doesn’t aim to dwell on the closure, but rather to explore the legacy of the ACC Scholarships and highlight alternative pathways for students interested in studying in China.

The Legacy of the ACC Scholarships

The ACC Scholarships provided a unique opportunity for Australian students to immerse themselves in Chinese culture and education. These scholarships covered tuition fees, living expenses, and return airfare, making postgraduate study in China a realistic possibility for many.

The program fostered a generation of Australian scholars with deep knowledge of China. They became specialists in fields ranging from Chinese language and literature to business, science, and engineering. These graduates have played a vital role in strengthening Australia-China relations across various sectors.

What did the ACC Scholarships Offer?

The scholarship details may have evolved over time, but generally, they supported Australian postgraduate students undertaking coursework or research programs in accredited Chinese universities.

Here are some of the benefits typically included:

  • Full or partial tuition fee coverage
  • Stipend for living expenses
  • Overseas Health Cover (OHC)
  • Return airfare

Alternative Pathways to Studying in China

While the ACC Scholarships are no longer available, there are still several avenues for Australian students to pursue their academic dreams in China. Here are some options to consider:

  • Australia Awards: The Australian Government’s flagship scholarship program, Australia Awards, offers financial support for postgraduate studies in a wide range of fields, including those in China. Explore the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: [Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website ON Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (]) website for details and eligibility criteria.
  • Chinese University Scholarships: Many prestigious Chinese universities offer scholarships specifically for international students. These scholarships can vary in scope and amount, so it’s important to research individual universities’ scholarship offerings.
  • Provincial Government Scholarships: Some provincial governments in China offer scholarships to attract international students. Researching scholarship opportunities through provincial education departments or relevant government websites can be fruitful.
  • Joint/Exchange Programs: Many Australian universities have established partnerships with Chinese universities. These partnerships often include exchange programs that allow students to spend a semester or a year studying at the partner institution. Contact your university’s international office to explore existing partnerships and exchange opportunities with Chinese universities.

Beyond Scholarships: Funding Your China Studies

  • Part-time Work: While working while studying can be challenging, some universities in China allow international students to take on part-time jobs on campus or with approved employers. This can help offset living expenses.
  • Freelancing/Remote Work: Depending on your skillset, you may be able to find freelance or remote work opportunities that can contribute to your finances while studying.
  • Crowdfunding: Platforms like Kickstarter or GoFundMe can be used to raise funds for your studies in China. A compelling campaign highlighting your academic goals and the impact of studying in China can resonate with potential donors.

Important Considerations Before Studying in China

  • Language Proficiency: While some programs may be offered in English, having a strong foundation in Mandarin Chinese will significantly enhance your learning experience and open doors to a wider range of academic opportunities.
  • Cost of Living: Living expenses can vary depending on the city you choose to study in. Conduct thorough research to factor in accommodation, food, transportation, and other costs.
  • Visa Requirements: Ensure you have the appropriate visa type for your study program and duration of stay. The application process can take time, so plan accordingly.


While the ACC Scholarships are no longer offered, the spirit of academic exchange and cultural understanding they fostered remains. By exploring alternative scholarship opportunities, carefully planning your finances, and considering the important aspects mentioned above, Australian students can still pursue rewarding academic journeys in China. Studying in China can equip you with valuable knowledge, language skills, and intercultural understanding, preparing you for a successful career in an increasingly interconnected world.

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