New Colombo Plan - Connect to Australia's future, study in the region. Australian Government

Fact sheet for university staff: The New Colombo Plan


A Government initiative offering Australian undergraduate students new opportunities for scholarships and grants for study in the Indo Pacific. The NCP aims to lift knowledge of the region and strengthen people-to-people and institutional relationships.


The 2014 NCP pilot phase will be followed by the rollout of the full program from 2015.


2014 pilot locations are Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. From 2015, the NCP will be rolled out more broadly across the region.

Why promote the opportunity to students?

Quality education opportunities; knowledge and experience in region; cultural immersion and understanding; internships and mentorships to support work readiness; professional opportunities and connections; alumni network; language training.


$100 million over five years. Scholarship awardees receive up to $67,000 (via benefits, including a stipend) and mobility grant awardees receive $1000 to $7000 (via direct grant through universities). Students may also be eligible for other funding such as OS-HELP.

Admin support

Universities can use 10 per cent of the funding they receive for mobility programs for administration costs.

Pilot program

Approximately 40 scholarships and a range of mobility opportunities for around 700 students will be funded during the 2014 pilot phase.


For the pilot phase, mobility grant applications are made by universities (through their international or student mobility office).


Applicants must be: an Australian citizen; enrolled in an Australian university; aged 18 to 28, undertaking a Bachelor’s degree (Pass or Honours). NCP Scholarship recipients must also have completed at least one year of their academic program.

Key deadlines for universities in 2014

  • 21 February 2014 – Mobility Tranche 2 applications open
  • 28 February 2014 – Scholarship nominations close
  • 21 March 2014 – Mobility Tranche 2 applications close
  • 28 March 2014 – Scholarship applications close
  • July/August 2014 – Mobility Tranche 1 evaluation report due


Prestigious scholarships for study of one or two semesters. Must be for credit. An internship component is encouraged. Selection criteria are: academic excellence (70 per cent weighting); leadership in the local community (15 per cent weighting); and contribution of experience to the applicant’s cultural awareness, employment potential and ability to operate in new and changing environments (15 per cent weighting).

Process: once nominated by universities, applicants receive an application pack via email and apply. Applicants will then be shortlisted and interviewed.  Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be advised of the outcome in June 2014.  

University role: universities nominate students and are encouraged to assist students in providing necessary documentation for their application e.g. correspondence with the host university, and in identifying possible internship/mentorship opportunities.

Mobility programs

Mobility programs are flexible—eligible options include semester-based study, short-term study and research, volunteer placements, practicums, internships, or clinical placements. Programs must be for academic credit and/or be a mandatory course component. Study must be undertaken at a local institution. Study can take place during semester breaks.

There are two tranches of applications for funding in 2014: tranche 1 (closed) and tranche 2. Tranche 1 funding recipients should depart by 30 June 2014 and programs should not extend beyond July/August 2014. Tranche 2 funding recipients can depart as soon as a funding agreement is in place and study should be completed by 31 July 2015.

Other programs

Other Australian Government programs e.g. AsiaBound, ISEP, STMP and the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships program, will continue in parallel with the NCP pilot phase.

More information

Talk to your university’s NCP liaison officer, mobility office, see the NCP website, or contact the NCP Secretariat.