Equity of Access Applicants

Equity of Access Applicants are defined as:

  • Persons with disability
  • Disadvantaged rural applicants

Disadvantaged Rural applicants are persons who were born in OR attended high school in one of the Designated Poor Districts AND are working in one of the listed provinces (Note: these provinces do not include Hanoi, HCM City, Hai Phong, Thua Thien Hue, Danang and Can Tho) with designated poor districts.

Ethnic minority applicants will be deemed disadvantaged only if they meet the criteria for Disadvantaged Rural 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 on GPA, English language and work experience for Disadvantaged Applicants

Apart from general eligibility criteria, following special provisions apply to Disdvantaged Applicants regardless of applicant groups:

  1. Minimum GPA 6.0
  2. Twelve months’ work experience
  3. No IELTS requirements on application (but DFAT-funded IELTS selection test result must be at least 5.0 with no sub-band below 4.5)

Equity of Access Fund


The purpose of the Equity of Access Fund is to reduce barriers to participation for all those applying for, and awarded Australia Awards Scholarships in Vietnam and for participants in non-scholarship HRD activities.

The Equity of Access Fund is a key support mechanism for eligible disadvantaged groups (people with disability and those from disadvantaged rural areas), so they have equity of access to:

  • apply for the Australia Awards
  • be selected and placed
  • successfully complete their study in Australia and
  • participate in alumni professional development and social networking activities.

Operating Principles

The operation of the Fund is based on the following key principles:

  1. Accessibility Use of the Fund must align with the purpose of promoting accessibility for people with disability and rural disadvantaged to participate in the Australia Awards on an equal basis at all stages of the award cycle.
  2. Responsiveness The Fund will be responsive to the changing and emerging issues and needs of the Fund’s target groups and individual members of these groups.
  3. Flexibility As support requirements of individual people with disability and rural disadvantaged are diverse, there must be sufficient flexibility as to the types of support and activities that may be reasonably provided through the Fund.
  4. Value for Money When agreeing on reasonable adjustments, value for money will be taken into consideration as will ensuring consistency with Australia Awards policy on the provision of reasonable adjustments.

Steps for Accessing the Equity of Access Fund

These steps are intended for applicants, awardees and alumni who are either people with disability or rural disadvantaged to access to disability support and the Equity of Access Fund. Please note that the Equity of Access Fund applies for the pre-award and post-award periods only.

For people with disability, support is provided directly by DFAT while they are studying in Australia. However, for rural disadvantaged awardees, no additional support will be available while they on award in Australia.

Step 1. Determine your eligibility. Do you fall under any of these categories?  






Supporting Documentation*


Rural Disadvantaged, including ethnic minorities who meet the criteria for rural disadvantaged

Born in OR attended high school in designated disadvantaged provinces/districts AND be currently employed in those provinces with designated districts.

  • Certified true copy of birth certificate or certified copy of high school transcript 
  • Certified true copy of employment contract
  • 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
  • the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the        body
  • 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 

 NoteDisclosure ASAP and at any stage of the award 


*Further documentation may be required as may be determined by the program personnel.

Step 2. If you fall under any of the two categories, contact the Aus4Skills on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. providing a brief description of your rural background, ethnicity or disability. It would be useful at this stage to start gathering supporting documentation as specified in table above. If you require any assistance on this, please inform the Aus4Skills in your email.

Step 3. A representative of the Aus4Skills will be in touch to discuss and confirm your eligibility. At this stage, the representative may request your supporting documentation or assist you if necessary in securing these documents. Soon after confirming your eligibility, you will be asked to participate in either a Disability Needs Assessment or a Rural Disadvantaged Assessment. The purpose of the assessment is to identify and clarify the expected level of support that may be provided. The Support Plan that results from the process will provide basis for providing support when on award in Australia or in Vietnam for both persons with disability and rural disadvantaged.

[1] As per the Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992

Additional information