A new case study by ACER researchers has found that Australia Awards alumni from the financial sector in Mongolia are actively contributing to the country’s development goals.
The Australia Awards Global Tracer Facility (the Facility) is a four year research-based project funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) assessing the development contributions and public and economic diplomacy outcomes of Australia’s investment in the Australia Awards. Researchers from the Facility recently visited Mongolia and conducted its sixth in-depth Case Study, focusing on Mongolian Australian Awards alumni who studied business or commerce in Australia between 2006 and 2010.
The case study found that Australia Award alumni are making substantial contributions to the professionalism, international credibility and sustained growth of the Mongolian financial sector through improvements in financial practices and supporting the upskilling of their colleagues. Alumni are actively contributing to core national development strategies, in particular the ‘Mongolia Sustainable Development Vision 2030’.
Since transitioning to a capitalist democracy following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Mongolia has emerged as one of the world’s fastest growing economies, thanks to vast reserves of mineral resources and a strong private sector, so a smooth integration into international money markets is a national priority.
Researchers found that alumni developed a range of financial sector skills and expertise on-award which they are now using to contribute to the development of the Mongolia financial sector. Examples including: project management, financial monitoring and auditing, intercultural competencies, networking, corporate governance and policy development.
In fact, Australian expertise is highly valued in Mongolia, and the Australia Awards are seen as the ‘best’ scholarship program available. Alumni still maintain positive views of their time in Australia, with many alumni actively involved with the Mongolia-Australia Society (the Mozzies), which promotes bilateral networking, and has a strong relationship with the new Australian Embassy.
Facility researchers observed that in this short time frame, the Embassy has forged strong and successful engagement with Australia Awards Mongolian alumni. Professional development and networking activities include a joint approach with the Mozzies to support alumni reintegration through the establishment of sectoral networks to enable alumni networking.
An important goal of the Australia Awards is to foster inclusiveness. In Mongolia, the awards have successfully promoted gender equality by instituting top-level policies and programs such as the Women’s Leadership Program, and by engagement with sector experts. While progress has been made in achieving greater inclusion of people with disabilities, alumni report that efforts have been hampered by broader systemic issues within the Mongolian education sector, and by attitudinal barriers that fail to recognise the societal contributions people with disabilities can make. ■
Read more about the Australia Awards Global Tracer Facility.
Read the full Case Study here.