Aussie students selected to study in Asia under New Colombo Plan


CANBERRA, Feb. 12 — More than 300 undergraduate students from 24 universities across Australia will soon set off to study abroad in the Indo-Pacific region under the Australian government’s 100 million AU dollar (90.5 billion U.S. dollar) New Colombo Plan.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Education Minister Christopher Pyne and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Brett Mason announced Wednesday that 24 universities have been successful in their applications for New Colombo Plan mobility grants to support students commencing study programs in semester 1, 2014.
Bishop said the 300 pioneer students will soon be setting off to broaden their knowledge of the Indo-Pacific across four pilot destinations in Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The students will undertake study experiences ranging from semester-based and short-term study to teaching practicums, research, field studies and clinical placements, Bishop said.
“Programs being funded span a wide range of academic disciplines from law, health and education, language and culture to science, technology and engineering,” she said.
Education Minister Pyne said that Australian universities have responded enthusiastically to the New Colombo Plan pilot.
“There has been a high level of support for the New Colombo Plan. Universities have assisted with the design of the plan and many applied for the first round of mobility grant funding,” he said.
“The practical approach of the New Colombo Plan, encompassing both formal study and internships, will help equip Australian university students with the skills and experience needed to engage with the dynamic Indo-Pacific region.”
Senator Mason said in 2014, Australian undergraduate students also have the opportunity to apply for 40 prestigious New Colombo Plan scholarships for longer-term study of up to a year.
The Australian government has committed 100 million dollars in new funding over five years to implement the New Colombo Plan, which offers Australian undergraduates opportunities for scholarships and grants for study and internships/ mentorships in the Indo-Pacific region.
The program will be rolled out more broadly across the region from 2015.[db:内容2]