This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (April 2018)
The New Colombo Plan is an initiative of the Australian Government aimed at increasing exchange in the Indo-Pacific region for Australian university students. The plan was launched as a signature initiative of the Abbott government's foreign policy in 2014, and was aimed at enhancing the knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia, by supporting Australian undergraduates studying and undertaking internships in the region. The program consists of two separate streams, the New Colombo Plan Scholarship and the New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant.
In 2014, the pilot scheme supported 40 scholars and more than 1300 mobility students to study and undertake work placements. In 2015 the Scheme expanded further across the Indo-Pacific, awarding 69 scholarships and supporting more than 3,100 mobility students. The scheme was continued by the Turnbull Government. By 2017, the NCP was supporting around 7,400 mobility students and 105 scholarship recipients.
The New Colombo Plan is jointly administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia) and Department of Education (Australia).
New Colombo Plan Scholarships are highly competitive and prestigious merit scholarships of up to AU$69,000. Scholars receive a dedicated case manager, internship and networking opportunities, and training from the Australian Government departments. Scholars must undertake a credited exchange or study abroad program in the Indo-Pacific, and typically conduct internships, mentorships, language training and community advocacy while abroad.
Scholar selection first consists of Universities nominating up-to 10 students to compete nationally for the Scholarships. Each university varies in nomination selectivity and process. Successful nominees then proceed through Australian Government selection processes. Selection criteria for the Scholarships are:
- Academic excellence at the tertiary level (weighted at 25%);
- Leadership in the community (weighted at 30%);
- Adaptability and resilience (weighted at 20%); and
- Ability to contribute to New Colombo Plan goals (weighted at 25%).
Referee reports from academic and community persons are considered in the application process.
Mobility Grants are grants of between AU$3,000 and $7,000 to assist Australian undergraduate university students with short-term study, practicums, research and internships.
- Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: New Colombo Plan
- Tony Abbott launches 'New Colombo Plan' for Australian students to study in India; The Economic Times; 4 September 2014
- About the New Colombo Plan; dfat.gov.au