The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.
The New Colombo Plan involves a scholarships program for study of up to one year and internships or mentorships, and a flexible mobility grants program for both short and longer-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research.
The New Colombo Plan is intended to be transformational, deepening Australia's relationships in the region, both at the individual level and through expanding university, business and other stakeholder links.
It will encourage a two-way flow of students with the region, complementing the thousands of students from the region coming to Australia to study each year.
Over time, the Australian Government wants to see study in the Indo Pacific region become a rite of passage for Australian undergraduate students, and as an endeavour that is highly valued across the Australian community.
The Australian Government has committed $100 million over five years to the New Colombo Plan. A 2014 pilot phase is currently underway, supporting around 1300 mobility program students and forty scholarship holders to study in four pilot locations – Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Next year the New Colombo Plan will be implemented across the Indo-Pacific. A close partnership between governments, universities and business will support the realisation of this important initiative.