Australia

PM unveils scholarships for Pacific students to study in Australia

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison meets locals in PNG. Australia has struck a new scholarship deal with the country. Source: AAP

Australia will provide a new package of scholarships for Pacific students to study in Australian secondary schools.

Students from Pacific islands will be given extra scholarships to study in Australia as part of an effort to build stronger links with the region.

Politicians, business and sports people from Pacific nations will also get access to a "Pacific Australia Card" that will make it easier for them to travel to Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will unveil the plan at a BBQ he's hosting for Pacific leaders in Port Moresby on Sunday night.

Mr Morrison meets locals at the opening of a lecture theatre building at the University of Papua New Guinea after the 2018 APEC Summit.
Mr Morrison meets locals at the opening of a lecture theatre building at the University of Papua New Guinea after the 2018 APEC Summit.
AAP

The dinner marks the end of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, held in Papua New Guinea for the first time.

Mr Morrison has pledged more aid and infrastructure funding for the Pacific, in a bid to counter China's rising influence in the region.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neil and Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neil and Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
AAP

Australia is also playing up its strong cultural links with the Pacific, including a new Church Partnerships Program to encourage churches to work together, as well as the scholarships for students to study in Australian secondary schools.

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