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Frequently Asked Questions – 2015 Mobility Program

Applications for 2015 Mobility Program Grants have closed

The New Colombo Plan mobility program provides funding opportunities for Australian universities and university consortia to provide grants to Australian undergraduate students to participate in semester based or short term study in the Indo-Pacific region.

In the 2014 pilot phase, the New Colombo Plan funded grants for 1,300 Australian students to study in the pilot locations of Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

In the 2015 Round, approximately $8 million in mobility grants will be available for Australian universities through a competitive application process, to support even more student experiences across a broader range of Indo-Pacific locations.

Mobility program guidelines 2015

Frequently Asked Questions – 2015 Mobility Round

1. What are the key changes in the 2015 Round?

Added 7 August 2014

A number of enhancements have been made to the Mobility Program Guidelines for the 2015 Round:

  • The total amount of funding available in this round has increased to approximately $8 million
  • The number of eligible host locations within the Indo-Pacific has increased – a list is available at Section 5.1 of the Guidelines. In certain circumstances, students may undertake some study or internship/mentorship activities in an eligible second location additional to their principal host location.
  • Universities are encouraged to undertake mobility projects with local institutions. The 2015 round includes the possibility of utilising an off-shore campus of an Australian university, provided certain strict conditions are met.
  • 10% of students participating in a mobility project may be over 28 years of age.
  • There is a new internship grant available to students undertaking semester length study.

Amount of funding and locations

2. How much funding is available in the 2015 Round?

Added 7 August 2014

In this round, approximately $8 million is available for universities to provide grants to students to undertake study and internships in the Indo-Pacific region. Students can study for up to one year, and undertake internships and mentorships concurrently with study, or an internship following their study period.

3. Where can NCP students study in the 2015 round?

Added 7 August 2014

The 2015 NCP Mobility Program provides opportunities for Australian undergraduates to undertake study in a range of eligible Indo-Pacific locations. The full list of locations is available at Section 5.1 of the Guidelines.

Applicants must provide an assurance that Students will not be allowed to travel to a location which the Australian Government's Smartraveller travel advice recommends 'Do not travel' (see Locations for which the Smartraveller travel advice is at the level 'reconsider your need to travel' are eligible for NCP funding, but applicants must acknowledge explicitly that they have considered the risks carefully before deciding to apply/travel.

Mobility program details

4. What can students study under the NCP mobility program?

Added 7 August 2014

Grants must be used to support mobility projects that provide credit or are otherwise mandatory components of the Student's course at their Home University. Such projects include: can include:

  • Semester-based study
  • Short-term study
  • Practicums
  • Clinical placements
  • Internships and mentorships
  • Short-term research

5. Can students study in multiple host locations?

Added 7 August 2014

Students must undertake the majority of their project one primary host location. If a particular component of a project cannot be delivered at the primary host location, then it may be delivered in a secondary host location instead.

For example:

  • a three month short-term research project in an eligible Host Location (primary Host Location) which includes two weeks of fieldwork in a neighboring eligible Host Location (secondary Host Location).
  • Semester-based study in one eligible Host Location (primary Host Location) with a one month internship to be undertaken in another eligible Host Location (secondary Host Location).

No additional funding will be provided for projects undertaken in more than one location. Please see the NCP Mobility Guidelines Section 5.2 for more information.

6. Can students undertake their study at an Australian off-shore campus or Australian branch campus?

Added 7 August 2014

NCP mobility projects should be undertaken with local host institutions in the eligible host location.

However, on a 12-month trial basis, applicant may apply for projects at off-shore campuses or branches of Australian universities if the following conditions are met:

  • there are no local universities in the proposed location that offer relevant courses that would receive credit from the home university;
  • the off-shore campus offers a genuine local experience, where Australian students are the minority of the student body, students are taught predominantly by local or international academics and the course has a local/regional context; and
  • the Australian home university is continuing to explore and expand exchange or other partnerships with local universities in that location.

7. Can students undertake their study in a host location at a foreign off-shore campus or a foreign branch campus?

Added 7 August 2014

No. Applicants cannot partner with offshore campuses or branch campuses of universities that are not from the host location or Australia.

8. What is the internship grant?

Added 7 August 2014

The internship grant is an additional grant of $1,000 that will be available to support and encourage students to undertake an internship alongside semester study overseas. The internship grant is only available for students that will undertake an internship as part of, or as well as, a NCP funded semester study project.

Universities apply for the internship grants as part of the application process on ISEO. Applicants will need to indicate how many grants are being sought and respond to a separate selection criterion.

9. When can students commence their mobility project?

Added 7 August 2014

NCP Mobility Projects must commence between 1 January 2015 and August 2016. Students may depart on or after 1 January 2015 as soon as the project schedule and invoice is received by the Department of Education. Any proposed variances to this timeframe should be discussed with the Department of Education ( and clearly noted in the application.


10. Who can apply for NCP mobility program funding?

Added 7 August 2014

Australian universities and consortia of Australian universities can apply for funding.
Consortium applications are encouraged, particularly where they enable universities to undertake projects they would otherwise have been unable to implement.

11. Which students can participate in a NCP mobility program?

Added 7 August 2014

Students who receive a grant to participate on an NCP mobility program must be:

  • An Australian citizen. Students with dual citizenship or permanent residency or similar in another location/country are eligible, however they must undertake their study in a third host location, of which they do not have citizenship or residency rights.
  • Enrolled in an Australian university at the time of application and throughout the mobility program.
  • Undertaking a Bachelor Degree or Bachelor Honours Degree at the commencement of the mobility project.

At least 90 per cent of the Students participating in any given mobility project must be aged 18 to 28 inclusive at the commencement of the Mobility Project.

Application and assessment process

12. What is the application process?

Added 7 August 2014

Applications for the 2015 round are submitted through an online system, ISEO. Universities may submit applications for funding through ISEO between 4 August 2014 and 14 September 2014.

Please see the 2015 NCP Mobility Guidelines Section 7 for more information and contact for guidance on using ISEO.

A dedicated phone hotline will be available during business hours 7 business days before applications close, to provide IT support and assistance with submitting applications.

The hotline number is 02 6240 0380.

13. How will mobility applications be assessed?

Added 7 August 2014

NCP mobility applications will be assessed against their eligibility and performance against the selection criteria (set out in the 2015 NCP Mobility Program Guidelines Section 5 and Section 8.1). The selection panel will also take into consideration the scalability of proposed programs, and the application ranking (and ranking of mobility projects within each application) provided by applicants.

ISEO will capture the ranking of the application. However, ranking of mobility projects must be indicated in the summary description field (see section 7 of program guidelines).

E.g. Applicant submits 3 applications with 5 projects in each application. Applicant either:

  • Ranks the applications 1 to 3 and the projects within each application 1 to 5; OR
  • Ranks the applications 1 to 3 and the projects across the 3 applications 1 to 15. Based on judgments around eligibility and performance against the selection criteria, it is possible for some mobility projects within an application to be approved with other mobility projects in the same application being rejected.

Where applications have similarly meritorious claims, preference may be given to applications that will promote:

  • balance and diversity in Host Locations, fields of study, Applicants, Host Institutions and amongst the states and territories
  • Internships/Mentorships
  • semester-based study (aiming for 70/30 split between semester/short term study)

14. What are the reporting requirements for 2015?

Added 7 August 2014

Universities are required to undertake an online acquittal process involving the submission of a Completion Report and a Statutory Declaration that all information is true and correct and that funds have been spent in accordance with the funding agreement.

Universities are also required to submit student details into ISEO no later than 3 weeks prior to students departing on their funded mobility project.

15. Are there any lessons from the 2014 application process that may assist 2015 applicants?

Added 7 August 2014

The 2014 mobility rounds were significantly oversubscribed. This meant that a very large number of quality eligible projects were not able to be funded within the 2014 mobility budget. The program did provide additional funding in order to fund as many projects as possible. This resulted in funding to universities valued at a total of $4.72 million, up from the $4 million originally allocated. The following also outlines the elements important for quality applications:

  • Ensuring that information on how the project will provide credit or otherwise fulfil mandatory course requirements is included in the application.
    • Even where there is a general expectation that credit will be provided for participation in a project, details must be provided in the application.
  • Ensuring that proposed funding amounts comply with the guidelines of $1000-$3000 per student for short term grants or $3000-$7000 per student for semester based grants.
  • Providing clear responses against selection criteria with specific reference to the objectives of the New Colombo Plan.
    • Applicants should consider the program objectives before responding to criteria.
  • Providing more detail on what students will be doing under a particular project
  • Advising whether there is capacity to scale the project up or down
    • Applicants should clearly outline project details within the application. See program guidelines section 7.

16. Can a student receive more than one NCP mobility grant?

Added 7 August 2014

Students are only eligible to receive one grant per mobility project. At the discretion of the home university, and taking into consideration the aim of NCP funding is to increase mobility opportunities for all undergraduate students, universities may provide both a short-term mobility grant and semester-based study grant to the same student, if each project is distinct and separate.

Last Updated: 28 January 2014
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