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 in Australia and strengthen people-to-people and institutional relationships.


Based on the success to date of the 2014 pilot phase, the NCP is being implemented across the region from 2015.


2015 NCP locations are:

Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

Why promote the opportunity to students?

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


$100 million over five years. Scholars receive up to $67,000 (including a stipend and travel costs paid to students) and mobility grant recipients receive between $1000 and $7000 depending on the length of study proposed (via direct grant through universities). An internship grant of $1000 per student is also available for semester-based mobility projects that include an internship. Students may also be eligible for other funding such as OS-HELP.

Admin Support

Universities can apply for a 10 per cent administrative payment on top of the grants funding per student (mobility program only).

2015 Round

$8 million in mobility grants and approximately 60 scholarships will be funded in 2015.


Scholars and grant recipients must be: Australian citizens; enrolled in an on-shore campus of an Australian university; aged 18 to 28 (90 per cent of student participants for mobility projects must be in this range); and undertaking a Bachelor’s Degree or Bachelor Honours Degree. NCP scholarship recipients must also have completed at least one year of their academic program, and have achieved a minimum 70 per cent graded average or equivalent for their undergraduate course to date.


Prestigious scholarships for at least one study period and up to a full academic year.

An internship component is strongly encouraged. All funded study programs must be for academic credit towards a student’s degree at their home (Australian) university.

Selection criteria

  • academic excellence (50% weighting);
  • leadership in the local community (25%); and
  • contribution of experience to the applicant’s cultural awareness, employment potential and ability to operate in new and changing environments, and an understanding of the overarching goals of the NCP and how their proposed program contributes to those goals (25%).

Process and Key Dates:

4 to 29 August 2014:Universities conduct an internal selection process to identify and nominate up to 10 eligible students.

1 to 26 September 2014: Nominees complete applications, including supporting documentation and evidence of contact with proposed host university.

October to November 2014: Applicants shortlisted and interviewed. 

November 2014: successful and unsuccessful applicants advised of the outcome.

1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015: successful applicants commence their study program.

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. Universities are also encouraged to liaise with students and host organisations to ensure appropriate internship/mentorship arrangements are in place. 

Mobility Programs

Mobility programs are flexible – eligible options include semester/trimester based study of up to 12 months, short term study, practicums, clinical placements, internships/mentorships and short term research. Programs must be for academic credit and/or be a mandatory course component. Study must be undertaken at a local institution or an off-shore campus or branch of an Australian university if certain conditions are met. Study can take place during semester breaks.

Selection criteria

  • Conformance with NCP strategic objectives and long-term sustainability of the Mobility Project/s (50% weighting);
  • development of new and innovative programs for the NCP (25%);
  • recognition of student participation and ongoing promotion and engagement with the NCP (10%);
  • proper use of the funding sought (10%); and adequate strategies and services to support Student welfare and learning outcomes (5%).
  • There is an additional unweighted selection criterion for universities applying for internship grants.

Process and Key Dates:

4 August 2014 to 19 September 2014: universities submit applications for funding in 2015.

1 January 2015 to August 2016: mobility projects must commence.

More information

Talk to your university’s NCP liaison officer, mobility office, see or contact