SEAMEO-Australia Education Links Award 2020/2021


The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and the Government of Australia have conducted an award programme called SEAMEO-Australia Press Award from 2000 to 2010, focusing on improving the SEAMEO visibility through recognition of remarkable coverage of education issues in Southeast Asia.

In the 34th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting in January 2012, Australia proposed a new Award that would include a broader scope of education-related activities and open to individuals working on education policy. As a result, SEAMEO Secretariat and the Australian Education International, Australian Embassy Bangkok developed the second series of the SEAMEO-Australia award programme and named it SEAMEO- Australia Education Links Award (SAELA).

SEAMEO-Australia Education Links Award (SAELA)

The SAELA gives recognition and provides financial assistance to project proposals or existing projects which bring benefits to a Southeast Asian community, organization, or educational institution; and in the long-term help provide a better quality of life in society. The Award aims to highlight that education cooperation between countries can transfer new ideas, broaden educational opportunities, improve education quality, form long-term people-to-people links, and improve mutual understanding for the benefit of all parties.

Specifically, SAELA aims to:

  • Showcase education, training and research cooperation activities and the value these have in fostering stronger people-to-people and institutional links;
  • Provide the opportunity for sharing and learning of new ideas on education cooperation; and
  • Promote the development of effective educational partnerships between countries, organizations, and communities.

Recently, more than 247 Million learners in Southeast Asia were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of this writing, most countries in the region are bracing for the second wave of infections while preparations are in full gear in ensuring that learners and educators are safe. During this SEAMEO Ministerial Policy e-Forum, all the Education Ministers of the 11 SEAMEO Member Countries recognized the need to strengthen the partnership and collaboration to address the challenges in the region. Thus,

the theme for the 6th cycle of SAELA is “Education Innovations that Work: Enhancing Links between Southeast Asia and Australia.” The innovative strategies for this cycle’s award should focus on innovations in Southeast Asia and at the same time, strengthening the bond between Southeast Asia and Australia.

Details of the Award

For this Award cycle, up to two winners may be chosen and will each receive a grant worth AUD$ 10,000 to implement/mainstream activities in relation to the winning project or idea. The Award Applicants are required to submit a written proposal detailing the concept including information on how the grant money will be used. A Project Completion Report shall also be submitted to SEAMEO Secretariat at the end of the project. The award will be given in two tranches: 50 percent shall be given during the awarding ceremony while the remaining 50 percent shall be given upon submission of the final report and corresponding receipts.

The winner will also receive a Plaque of Recognition during a major SEAMEO event such as the SEAMEO High Officials Meeting, SEAMEO Council Conference, or SEAMEO Congress. Detailed information for the Award will also be posted on the both SEAMEO Secretariat and the Government of Australia website and official social media channels.

Applicant Eligibility

The Award is open to all nationals of SEAMEO Member Countries aged 18 years old and above and should have never received any SEAMEO Awards within the past 3 years. However, staff members of the SEAMEO Secretariat and the SEAMEO Regional Centres/Network and their immediate family members are not qualified to apply for this Award.

Selection Process and Assessment Criteria

The selection and assessment of entries will be done by a committee. The Evaluation Committee consists of experts from Southeast Asia and representatives from relevant partner international organizations, SEAMEO Secretariat, SEAMEO Regional Centres, and the Australian Government.

The evaluation will be based on the merit of the proposal as indicated by:

  • Innovation, practicability and originality of the proposal;
  • Scope for replication, expansion, or duplication of the proposal;
  • Value for money and sustainability; and
  • Benefit and relevance to Southeast Asia and linkages to Australia.

Submission is through this online form:   

Timeline for the SAELA Sixth Cycle

The timeline for the sixth cycle of SAELA is from October 2020 to April 2021. Below is the timeline:

Oct-Dec 2020 Jan 2021 Feb 2021 Mar 2021 15 Apr 2021 16-30 Apr 2021 May 2021
Preparations and coordination activities Submission Period
Announcement and Call for Submission
Shortlisting of Top 10 proponents Evaluation Committee Meeting Announcement of Results


Deadline to submit entries is on 16 April 2021 and an Evaluation Committee shall be formed to evaluate the submissions. The Evaluation Committee will include representatives from SEAMEO, the Australian Government, partner organizations such as UNESCO, and other relevant bodies. The awarding ceremony shall be done during the SEAMEO Council Conference (31 May 2021).

Contact Persons

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Piyapa Su-Angavatin
Knowledge Management Manager
SEAMEO Secretariat
Bangkok, Thailand

Mr. Raphael Cada
Programme Officer for Policy and Development SEAMEO Secretariat
Bangkok, Thailand