Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Last updated on 18 December 2013
1. What is the New Colombo Plan (NCP)?
The New Colombo Plan is an Australian Government initiative that aims to lift knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia and strengthen our people-to-people and institutional relationships, through study and internships / mentorships undertaken by Australian undergraduate students in the region.
The New Colombo Plan is intended to be transformational, deepening relationships with the region, both at the individual level and through expanding university, business and other stakeholder links. Over time, the Australian Government hopes 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.
2. Where can I study under the NCP?
The New Colombo Plan, when fully implemented from 2015, will cover the Indo Pacific region. A pilot program in 2014 will be implemented in four destinations – Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and Singapore.
3. How much funding has the Government committed to the NCP program?
The Australian Government has announced $100 million of funding over five years for the New Colombo Plan.
4. How many scholarships and mobility grants are available for the pilot phase of the New Colombo Plan?
During the pilot program in 2014 approximately 40 scholarships will be awarded for up to a year of study, along with a range of mobility grants for semester or shorter study courses for over 700 students from Australian universities.
5. The mobility program guidelines aim to fund an approximate proportion of 70 per cent semester based places and 30 per cent short-term places. How will this be achieved? Updated 18 December 2013
The New Colombo Plan is emphasising semester based study as a way to achieve its goals. It is recognised that in the pilot year the 70/30 target might be an ambitious goal for the mobility program, as universities establish arrangements for students to undertake coursework, and it might be necessary to have a greater proportion of short term mobility projects. In the pilot year (Tranches 1 and 2), mobility applications will be assessed on their merits and decisions will be informed by the profile of applications received.
6. What is the internship / mentorship component of the NCP pilot?
Scholars and recipients of mobility grants undertaking in-country study of at least one semester are strongly encouraged to undertake an internship/mentorship as part of their study, where possible. An internship/mentorship is defined as any placement relating to the student’s field of study undertaken outside of their host university.
- An Internship is a carefully monitored work or volunteer experience in which an individual has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what he or she is learning throughout the experience. Internships offer students the chance to test their skills in real-life situations, explore career options and gain an insight into an organisation or career path.
- A Mentorship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person, relevant to work, career, or professional development. Mentoring is more than just answering occasional questions or providing ad hoc help, it is about an ongoing relationship of learning, dialogue, and challenge.
An internship/mentorship could be with any company, business, government department or agency, not-for-profit organisation or research organisation in the host destination. Further information is contained in the Program Guidelines.
7. What are the roles of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education in the NCP?
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has responsibility for providing strategic leadership and policy direction for the New Colombo Plan. The Minister will establish a New Colombo Plan Reference Group of senior education and business representatives to provide high level strategic advice and guidance to Government on the implementation of the NCP. Members will actively engage with their sectors to fully inform the advice provided to Government. Reference Group members will also be expected to act as ambassadors in the promotion of the NCP.
The Department of Education is the agency responsible for administering both the scholarship and mobility program components of the New Colombo Plan.