Applicants who are entitled to equity support are:

Persons with disability
Rural Disadvantaged applicants

Special Requirements

Special eligibility provisions apply to Disadvantaged Applicants, in addition to general eligibility criteria.

Equity of Access Fund

The Equity of Access Fund reduces barriers to participation for eligible disadvantaged groups applying for, and accepting Australia Awards Scholarships.

Applicants who are entitled to equity support 

People with disability or Rural Disadvantaged applicants may be entitled to equity support for their application or during their studies.

Disadvantaged rural applicants are people who were born in OR attended high school in one of the Designated Poor Districts AND are working in one of the listed provinces with designated poor districts. The list of disadvantaged provinces/districts can be found here.

Ethnic minority applicants will be deemed disadvantaged only if they meet the criteria for Rural Disadvantaged Applicants. 

Disadvantaged applicants are required to provide evidence at application of their place of birth, high school graduation, location of current employment and/or disability.

Requirements for GPA, English language and work experience for Disadvantaged Applicants

The following special provisions apply to Disadvantaged Applicants regardless of applicant group:

  1. Minimum GPA 6.0
  2. Twelve months’ work experience
  3. English language test results are not required at application (but the Aus4Skills-funded IELTS Selection Test result must be at least 5.0 overall with no sub-band below 4.5; or TOEFL iBT 35 (Reading and Listening 3, Writing and Speaking 12 or above); or PTE Academic 29 (no sub-band below 23);

Equity of Access Fund

The Equity of Access Fund reduces barriers to participation for eligible disadvantaged groups applying for, and awarded, Australia Awards Scholarships in Vietnam. It provides funding for reasonable adjustment and accommodation (e.g. funding for travel and accommodation to participate in pre-departure activities).

The Equity of Access Fund applies for the pre-award and post-award periods only. For people with disability, the Australian Government provides direct support while studying in Australia, but no additional support is provided for rural disadvantaged awardees.

Accessing the Equity of Access Fund

Step 1. Determine your eligibility

Do you fall under any of these categories?

EligibilitySupporting Documentation*
Rural Disadvantaged, including ethnic minorities who meet the criteria for rural disadvantaged
The list of disadvantaged provinces/districts can be accessed here.Certified copy of birth certificate or certified copy of high school transcript

Certified copy of employment
People with disability
A disability is defined as[1]:

  • total or partial loss of bodily or mental functions
  • total or partial loss of a body part (e.g, loss or incomplete use of arms/legs/ hands/fingers)
  • the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness
  • the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness
  • a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction
  • a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person's thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour
  • A doctor's certificate

    Note: For maximum support, applicants and awardees are encouraged to advise Aus4Skills if any special support is required as soon as possible. However, applicants/awardees may provide this advice at any stage during the application process or award, including if their needs change.

    *Further documentation may be required as determined by Aus4Skills.

    Step 2. Contact Aus4Skills office

    If you are eligible for support, contact Aus4Skills on You should provide a brief description of your eligibility (e.g. your rural background, ethnicity or disability) and start gathering supporting documents as specified in table above.

    Step 3. Supporting documents

    Aus4Skills will contact you to confirm your eligibility. Aus4Skills may request supporting documents or assist you in securing documents, if necessary. You may then be asked to participate in either a Disability Needs Assessment or a Rural Disadvantaged Assessment, to identify the level of support that may be required.