UNSW will provide $300,000 worth of post-graduate scholarships to develop skills vital to rebuilding China's earthquake-devastated Sichuan province.

Ten Chinese students will be selected from the worst hit provinces, expanding UNSW's assistance which began with satellite imagery to guide the rescue effort immediately after the May 12 earthquake.

UNSW will provide ten Masters by Coursework full tuition scholarships for a range of one year programs, from 2009, including Urban Planning and Design, Engineering Science, Construction Management, Health Management and Master of Science and Technology in Environmental Science.

UNSW Global, which runs Foundation Studies for the University, will provide additional scholarships to any of the students who need pre-course intensive language tuition to meet the University English entry standards.

A campaign will also be launched through the UNSW Foundation to raise funds for a stipend of $20,000 for each student.

In making the announcement, UNSW Vice Chancellor, Professor Fred Hilmer pointed to the long history of academic collaboration between UNSW and Chinese universities.

"We currently have more than 2,300 students from mainland China, which represents about a quarter of all international students studying at UNSW," Professor Hilmer said. "Hundreds more of our students are first generation Australian Chinese, many with family still in China.

"A team of researchers from our engineering faculty has been providing satellite images directly to the Chinese earthquake authorities, and has played a vital role in assessing the damage from the earthquake and identifying possible aftershock danger areas.

"We now want to help with the rebuilding effort. These scholarships will develop expertise in the fields most vital to that effort," Professor Hilmer said.

Counsellor Bai Gang from the Sydney Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China said; "The Chinese people are grateful to the University for this far-sighted initiative."

Counsellor Bai said the scholarships were important on three levels; as a humanitarian initiative, in building the relationship between China and Australia, and in fostering academic collaboration.

Applications will be selected on academic merit from Sichuan Province, Shaanxi Province, Gansu Province and the Chongqing Municipality.

The UNSW scholarships received national TV coverage in China.