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Mobility Program FAQs

Note: Frequently Asked Questions should be read in conjunction with the 2016 New Colombo Plan Mobility Program Guidelines.

Key changes in the 2016 round

1. What are the key changes in the 2016 round?

  • Approximately $20 million for Australian universities and Australian university consortia to support student mobility projects that enable students to undertake study in the Indo-Pacific region
  • Multi-year funding is available for mobility projects that may run for up to three years
  • The selection criteria have been further refined to encourage applications that align to the greatest extent with NCP strategic objectives. Projects that support semester study, internships, language acquisition will be prioritised. Additional weighting will also be available to projects that attract private sector in-kind or financial sponsorship.
  • The application process has been enhanced – universities have more time to submit applications and applications will be project-based. Where applicants seek to apply for funding for multiple projects in the same location, they must submit separate applications

2. When is the 2016 round open for applications?

Applications open on ISEO at 12:00am Thursday 2 April 2015.

The round will close at 11:59pm Friday 5 June 2015.

Mobility Program details

3. What is multi-year funding?

Section 2.4 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines describes multi-year funding.

Multi-year funding provides applicants with the opportunity to submit proposals for short term and semester mobility projects that extend over multiple years.

Universities cannot submit the same project proposal for single and multi-year funding. It is also important to note that multi-year applications that are not successful cannot also be considered for single-year funding. Applicants should therefore think carefully about which grant type to apply for.

Multi-year funding is being introduced to support universities to deliver a long-term and sustainable increase in mobility that could not be facilitated by single-year applications.

Applications seeking multi-year funding must address an additional criterion explaining how the funding will enable them to scale‑up and sustain student mobility, and strengthen and sustain collaboration with project partners.

If approved, multi-year mobility projects may run for up to three funding periods between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2019. Multi-year funding can include a scale-up in funding across the different periods of the project (for example a project might provide ten student grants in the first year, 30 in the second year and 50 in the third year).

All multi-year funding offers are contingent on the submission of a completion report for each year of activity before the next year's funding will be provided.

4. How can I apply for multi-year funding?

Section 4 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines outlines the application and selection process.

Multi-year funding applications will be submitted through ISEO. Applications for multi-year funding must:

  • Indicate the number of years of funding required
  • Provide a financial breakdown for each term, and
  • Respond to an additional eligibility criterion

5. How is funding for multi-year projects administered?

Section 5 and section 6 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines outline information on the administration of multi-year projects.

Successful multi-year applications will receive an offer of funding through ISEO.

Once an offer has been accepted and a project schedule has been signed, the funding recipient will invoice the Department of Education and Training for the first term of funding only.

All multi-year funding offers are contingent on the submission of a completion report in ISEO for each year of activity before additional funding will be provided.

Recipients of multi-year funding will need to complete a separate financial acquittal before they can request payment for the next term of their project.

6. What happens if recipients of funding for multi-year projects do not use all the funding offered by the annual completion report date?

Section 6.5 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines outlines the requirements for expenditure for multi-year projects.

Multi-year funding projects must meet a performance requirement to expend at least 80 per cent of funding in each term.

Where the recipient does not spend at least 80 per cent of the funding offered for a particular term of a multi-year project, the Australian Government will assess whether that project should be funded or partially funded in the following term. In some circumstances the Australian Government may choose to withhold funding or request a refund.

7. What defines in-kind or financial support from a private sector organisation?

Section 2.5 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines outlines private sector collaboration and sponsorship.

In-kind and financial sponsorship provided by private sector organisations must go beyond the provision of internships, mentorships and briefings. In-kind support may include, but is not limited to, contributions that support the implementation of a mobility project, such as program development and delivery, services, flights, accommodation or language training.

8. What are the "additional selection criteria"?

Section 4.4 and section 4.5 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines outline the additional two selection criteria.

An additional selection criterion is only required for a multi-year application or for a semester-based application that is requesting an internship grant. ISEO will generate these criteria once the multi-year or semester grant option has been selected by the applicant.

Additional eligibility criteria do not contribute to the overall project score – they are assessed as either "met" or "not met" only. Responses to these questions will determine whether the proposal is eligible or ineligible and therefore whether these elements will be awarded.

9. What is considered an internship under the 2016 Round?

Internships offer students the chance to test their skills in real-life work situations, gain insight into an organisation and build professional networks.

Internships arepaid or unpaid professional work experience in which a student has intentional learning goals relevant to their academic qualification and professional development. Internships offer students the chance to test their skills in real-life situations, gain an insight into an organisation and career path, and build professional networks. Internships can include clinical placements or practicums.

A project proposal can include an internship component, even if the application does seek an internship grant.

Under the Selection Criteria "Support for Internships in the Indo-Pacific" applicants should answer 'Yes' if:

  • the project seeks funding for internships grants, and/or
  • the mobility project comprises or includes a short-term or semester-length internship, clinical placement or practicum.

Section 2.2.3 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines outlines internship grant eligibility.

10. Can multi-year mobility projects include internship grants?

Section 2.2.3 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines outlines internship grant eligibility.

Applications can include internship grants as part of multi-year, semester-based mobility projects only.

Multi-year funding is intended to provide flexibility to institutions, and allows applicants to propose projects that grow in scale over successive years.

For this reason, applicants may choose to propose projects that initially feature a smaller number of internship grants, and a larger number in later years as partnerships develop.

For example, a project application may not seek internship grants in the first term, and still feature 10 internship grants in the second term and 15 in the third term of a multi-year mobility project.

11. Can students study in multiple host locations?

Section 3.3 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines, outlines the capacity to undertake mobility projects in more than one location.

If a project will involve study at a secondary host location, this must be indicated in the project application. No additional funding will be provided for projects undertaken in more than one location.

Application and assessment process

12. How has the application form changed for the 2016 round?

Section 4.2 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines outlines the requirements for eligibility and the application process.

A sample application form and a guide on using the ISEO system will be provided to all ILOs. It is also available on request. Please email

A number of technical enhancements have been made to ISEO to streamline processes for Applicants. Universities will be asked to submit one application per mobility project and to rank them according to priority. This will give universities more scope to demonstrate how individual projects meet selection criteria and simplify management of individual projects through ISEO.

Much of the information that was previously entered in the application as free text will now be captured in separate fields with a tick a box.

The application form now features a "Finance" tab that calculates the amount of funding sought. Applicants must enter the number of students, student grant amounts, and indicate whether the project requires administrative funding. ISEO will automatically calculate the total project cost.

13. Do applicants need to provide any supporting documents?

Section 4.2 (g) of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines outlines the requirements for evidence of support.

Mobility project applications that include in-kind support or private sector organisation support must include evidence in the form of a letter or other formal documentation.

The application form on ISEO now has an upload feature, and will prompt for relevant documents where they are required in an application.

14. How do I rank projects on ISEO?

Section 4.2.1 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines outlines application rankings.

Applicants must rank each application in order of priority.

ISEO will automatically allocate a ranking based on the order the application is submitted, but applicants can manually edit these rankings.

Applications can be ranked at any time after they are created, and rankings may be changed at any time up until the round closes.

15. Is preference given to projects in particular locations?

No, although projects that demonstrate the Applicant is developing new linkages in a new location will be considered in accordance with the selection criteria. In addition, and as outlined in Section 4.6 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines, balance and diversity in Host Locations is a consideration in selecting projects that are assessed as "suitable".


16. For projects with less than ten participating students, is it possible for one of these students to be aged over 28?

Not for the 2016 round. Section 3.2 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines outlines the age parameters and eligibility for students for the 2016 round.

17. Can a student receive multiple New Colombo Plan student grants?

Section 3.2 of the 2016 Mobility Program Guidelines advises that Universities cannot provide the same Student with more than one New Colombo Plan Short-term Grant or more than one New Colombo Plan Semester Grant (with or without an Internship Grant) during their undergraduate studies (ie a maximum of two NCP grants for any single student, with only one being short-term). This is to encourage as many new students as possible to be involved in the NCP. However it is permissible for the same Student to receive a short term grant and then a semester-length grant. Similarly it is possible for the same Student to receive a Mobility Grant and a New Colombo Plan Scholarship.

Last Updated: 23 March 2015
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