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Mobility program guidelines 2015

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The New Colombo Plan mobility program provides funding to 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.

University staff and undergraduate students interested in the 2015 round of the New Colombo Plan should contact their faculty or the international liaison office as soon as possible.

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.

On this page:

1. Definitions of key terms

Academic Transcript means the list of subjects and academic results provided to a Student by their Australian University, usually at the end of each semester, trimester or term.

Applicant means an Australian University or Consortium applying for New Colombo Plan Mobility Program funding.

Australian University is defined as a supplier listed under Table A or Table B of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Bachelor Degreemeans undergraduate studies at a Bachelor's level as described in the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Bachelor Honours Degreemeans undergraduate studies at a Bachelor's Honours level as described in the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Confidential Information is information which satisfies the four criteria listed at item 13.3 of these guidelines or is designated by the Commonwealth as confidential or that either party knows or ought to know is confidential. This does not include information that is otherwise in the public domain.

Consortium means a group of Australian Universities only.

ISEO meansthe online system for managing the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program applications.

Home University means the Australian University in which the Student is enrolled at the time of application and that determines whether a Mobility Project is for credit or an otherwise mandatory component of the course of study.

Host Locationmeans the eligible geographic location in the Indo-Pacific region (see section 5.1) in which the Mobility Project will be undertaken by Students.

Host Institution means the university or institution that the Students will attend for study in the Host Location.

Host Organisation means an organisation that the Students may attend for all or part of the Mobility Project.

Internshipmeans a paid or unpaid professional work 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.

Low Socio-Economic Status (SES) means Students who are from a low SES background, as measured by the ABS Socio-Economic Index for Areas (SEIFA) Index of Education and Occupation (IEO) index measured at Statistical Area 1 (SA1) level or postcode level.

Mentorshipmeans a personal developmental relationship where a business professional or academic helps guide a Student in her or his study or work to support learning and professional growth.

Mobility Projects are activities conducted overseas that provide academic credit or are a mandatory element of the Student's course, and include semester/trimester based study of up to 12 months, short term study, practicums, clinical placements, Internships/Mentorships and short term research.
Personal Information has the same meaning as in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

Program means the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program.

Program Delegates means a Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and an Associate Secretary of the Department of Education in their role as co-chairs of the Program Implementation Group.

Program Implementation Group is the group of officials, co-chaired by the Program Delegates, which oversees implementation of the New Colombo Plan.

Program Funding or Program Funds means the funding made available by the Commonwealth of Australia for the Program in any given financial year.

Short-Term Grant means a grant for study in a Host Location of up to 6 months. This includes practicums, clinical placements, Internships/Mentorships or short-term research.

Semester Grant means a grant for study for a defined Study Period.

Student/s means the beneficiary of an individual Mobility Project grant from a successful Applicant.

Study Periodmeans a period of study as defined by the Host Institution, e.g. may be semesters or trimesters.

In these Guidelines:

  • 'may' is permissive and not mandatory;
  • a reference to the singular includes the plural and vice versa; and

if a word or phrase is defined its other grammatical forms have corresponding meanings.

2. Program overview

2.1 Purpose of these Guidelines

The purpose of these Guidelines is to outline the process for allocating funding for the 2015 round of the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program. They should be read in conjunction with any Frequently Asked Questions available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website at www.dfat.gov.au/new-colombo-plan.

These guidelines commence on 4 August 2014.

2.2 About the New Colombo Plan

The New Colombo Plan is a flagship initiative of the Australian Government that aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region 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.

The Australian Government agreed to provide $100 million of funding for the New Colombo Plan between 2013-2014 and 2017-2018. A close partnership between governments, universities and business is supporting the realisation of this important initiative. The pilot phase – begun in 2014 – is progressing well.

The New Colombo Plan has two key program funding elements: a mobility program that will support increasing numbers of Australian undergraduates to undertake study or Internship/Mentorships in the Indo-Pacific region; and a scholarship program that will provide opportunities for individually selected undergraduates to undertake long-term study in the Indo-Pacific region. The opportunity for an Internship/Mentorship is also a hallmark of the New Colombo Plan.

The New Colombo Plan aims to increase the number of Australian undergraduate students studying in our region – particularly through new linkages supporting students who otherwise may not have accessed such an opportunity.

New Colombo Plan budget

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

$5,372,000

$10,958,000

$19,577,000

$19,625,000

$42,768,000

Does not include capital expenses

2.3 The New Colombo Plan strategic objectives

The New Colombo Plan aims to:

  • lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia and strengthen our people-to-people and institutional relationships by increasing the number of Australian undergraduate students undertaking study and Internships in the region;
  • deepen Australia's relationships with the region through the engagement of university, business and other stakeholder networks in supporting the program and ensuring such experiences are highly valued across the Australian community; and
  • be transformational in establishing study in the Indo-Pacific region to become a "rite of passage" for Australian undergraduate students, and increase the number of work-ready Australian graduates with regional experience.

Specifically, in 2015 the New Colombo Plan's objectives are to:

  • provide around 60 scholarships and $8 million in mobility grants;
  • support increased study experiences in as many Indo-Pacific locations as possible;
  • support and promote innovative Mobility Program projects that provide opportunities in the Indo-Pacific for Australian undergraduate students to meet the New Colombo Plan objectives. New partnerships and programs between universities - as well as projects that build on and strengthen existing partnerships - are encouraged;
  • support satisfying experiences for participating students and universities;
  • engage New Colombo Plan students, universities and other stakeholders in public diplomacy and outreach;
  • promote and support initiatives that lead to a substantial number of New Colombo Plan students undertaking an Internship/Mentorship; and
  • continue to develop an Alumni community that provides the opportunity for participants to share their experiences, promote the New Colombo Plan and continue to develop knowledge of and professional links within the Indo-Pacific region.

2.4 The New Colombo Plan Mobility Grants Program

In this round, approximately $8 million is available for Applicants to provide grants to Students to undertake (for up to one year) study, practicums, clinical placements, Internships/Mentorships and short-term research in the Indo-Pacific region and to support the development of international mobility opportunities at their institution.

Applications are for Mobility Projects in 2015 and 2016 in accordance with the timeline at section 6.

The Program has been designed to give Applicants the flexibility to explore the most effective delivery systems, propose innovative new Mobility Projects and explore which models are most successful in engaging and providing mobility experiences for Students.

The Program will aim to fund an approximate proportion of 70 per cent semester-based places and 30 per cent short term places.

Funding will support Mobility Projects of up to two semesters (12 months) and short-term Mobility Projects (less than 6 months) in Host Locations. The Mobility Project must be for academic credit or be a mandatory part of the Student's course at their Home University.

The Program aims to increase the number of Australian students undertaking study in the Indo-Pacific region.

3. Roles and responsibilities

3.1 Australian Government

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for the strategic leadership and setting the policy direction for the New Colombo Plan. The New Colombo Plan Secretariat, within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will participate in short-listing applications with the Department of Education and will make recommendations to the Program Delegate/s on funding outcomes. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will manage events and alumni activities for Students in consultation with the Department of Education. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will also provide any consular support to Students in line with that offered to all Australian citizens, should the need arise.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not arrange work placements or study programs, including accommodation in the Host Location, nor direct Applicants, Host Institutions, Host Organisations, or Students about the manner in which work placements and study programs are carried out. Such matters are for Applicants, Host Institutions, Host Organisations and Students to determine. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not have a direct or indirect contractual, financial, or supervisory relationship with any Applicants or Students.

Contact: ncp.secretariat@dfat.gov.au

The Department of Education is responsible for administering the Program. The Department of Education will undertake eligibility assessments and, together with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, short-list applications. The Department of Education is the first point of contact for Australian University International Liaison Officers on administrative matters, including eligibility for the Program and applications.

Contact: student.mobility@education.gov.au

The Program Delegate/s will approve final mobility grant outcomes following receipt of short-listing recommendations.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Education will be advised of successful Applicants prior to notification of successful and unsuccessful Applicants.

3.2 Australian Universities (Applicants)

Each Australian University is responsible for applying for Mobility Project funding. Applicants are required to ensure their proposed Mobility Project is credit-bearing or a mandatory component of the course.

It is the Applicant's responsibility to ensure that the completed application is submitted by the closing date. Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

Student Welfare

Responsibility for the welfare and safety of Students rests with the Applicant. The onus is on the Applicant to ensure that adequate safety precautions have been investigated, and that critical incident plans are in place at the commencement of the overseas study. Applicants should advise all Students to read the relevant travel advice and register their details on the Government's Smartraveller website (www.smartraveller.gov.au) prior to departure.

Student Details

Three weeks prior to Students departing Australia (at the latest), details for each Student must be provided by the Applicant. The information should be inputted to ISEO and will include:

  • Student Identification Code (E313)
  • Institution Code (E306)
  • Start and end travel dates and Host Location/s of travel
  • Mobility Project they are travelling under (including Host Institution/s details)
  • Internship/Mentorship details (if applicable)

The information will be used for the following purposes (see also section 13.2 Privacy):

  • administering and performance monitoring the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program
  • promoting the New Colombo Plan, including in promotional material, information and publications in hardcopy and/or on the internet
  • congratulating and/or inviting Students to functions and events held in Australia and overseas.

It is the responsibility of the Applicant to seek and receive appropriate consent from Students for their details to be used by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education.

Applicants are requested to nominate an International Liaison Officer for the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program who can submit applications on behalf of the Applicant.

3.3 Students

Students must meet all the relevant eligibility criteria at section 5.4 to be entitled to receive a mobility grant from their Home University. Eligible students who are interested in the Program should contact the student mobility or international office at their Home University.

4. Funding

4.1 Funding period and amount

Funding will be provided to Applicants in financial year 2014-15 for Students to undertake Mobility Projects in 2015 and 2016 in accordance with the timeline at section 6. Approximately $8 million will be available in the 2015 funding round.

4.2 What can the funding be used for?

The 2015 round will support Applicants to develop innovative Mobility Projects through the provision of grants for Students and administration funding to Applicants. The Program is aimed at giving flexibility to Applicants, while ensuring that the funding is used efficiently, effectively and ethically, consistent with the policies of the Commonwealth.

Grants and administration funding can be used for study activities that provide credit or are otherwise mandatory components of the Student's course at their Home University. Mobility Projects can include:

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

A mobility grant for the benefit of a Student must be a short-term or a semester grant.

Short-Term Grant

  • For study that is less than 6 months in duration
  • Provided at a rate of between $1000 and $3000 per Student.

Semester Grant

  • For study of at least one Study Period but up to 12 months in duration. A Study Period means a period of study as defined by the Host Institution, e.g. may be called a semester or a trimester.
  • Provided at a rate of between $3000 and $7000 per Student.

Internship grant

  • Provided at a rate of $1000 per Student.
  • The Internship must be part of a semester study Mobility Project to receive this grant.
  • The additional Internship component may be (but does not have to be) for additional credit or a mandatory component of the Student's course.

This grant is only available for Internships that are undertaken as part of, or in addition to, a semester study program.

4.3 Applying grant amounts to Students

It will be at the discretion of the Applicant to determine the grant amount it seeks for Students within the funding bands described above. In all cases, grants must be provided directly to the Students.

Students undertaking the same activity (i.e. Mobility Project and Host Location) should each receive the same amount of New Colombo Plan funding. Differences in grant amounts are permitted between Mobility Projects to accommodate differences in study program Host Location or content, or to support Student choice across the Host Locations.

Applicants should also inform Students of other funding options available – e.g. OS HELP1.


1 OS-HELP is a loan available to Students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place who want to undertake some of their study overseas. OS-HELP can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and other travel or study expenses. Students may receive one loan per six-month study period and can access a total of two OS-HELP loans over their lifetime. Further information on OS-HELP loans is available from http://studyassist.gov.au/sites/StudyAssist/HELPpayingMyFees

4.4 Administration funding

Administration funding (equal to no more than 10 per cent of the total Student grant funding requested by an Applicant for Mobility Project/s) may be requested by Applicants to support the administration and implementation of Mobility Projects. Applicants should note that this funding is not applied for separately, but is to be included in the total amount of funding applied for by the Applicant in each application. Applications should clearly indicate where administration funding is being applied for and the amount.
Administration funding may be used to subsidise the costs associated with Mobility Project administration, including but not limited to:

  • Arranging, negotiating and researching details of Mobility Projects
  • Supervising, monitoring and evaluating Students' progress during the Mobility Project
  • Engaging the services of third party organisations which have the relevant expertise to support Students to undertake Mobility Projects
  • General administration costs.

5. Eligibility

5.1 Eligible primary Host Locations

Mobility Projects may be conducted in the following eligible Host Locations. The following eligible Host Locations span South Asia, South East Asia, North Asia and a number of locations in the Pacific:

  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • Burma
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Hong Kong
  • 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
  • Vietnam

Study must not involve travel to a Host Location for which the Australian Government's Smartraveller travel advice recommends 'Do not travel' (see www.smartraveller.gov.au). Host Locations for which the smartraveller travel advice is at the level 'Reconsider your need to travel' are eligible for New Colombo Plan funding, but Applicants and Students should consider the risks carefully before deciding whether to apply/travel.

5.2 Secondary Host Locations

Mobility Projects should be undertaken in one eligible primary Host Location as listed above. However, in some cases it may be appropriate to undertake a component of a Mobility Project in a secondary, eligible Host Location where it cannot be delivered in the primary Host Location. No additional funding will be provided for a Mobility Project undertaken in more than one Host Location.

For example:

  • a three month short-term research Mobility Project in one eligible Host Location (primary Host Location) which includes two weeks of fieldwork in a neighbouring 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).

The secondary Host Location must be one of the Host Locations listed at section 5.1

In their application, Applicants should apply for the Mobility Project in the primary Host Location and describe the study to be undertaken in the secondary Host Location as part of the project description (see section 7.1).

5.3 Australian Universities

Applications for funding will be accepted from Australian Universities and Consortia of Australian Universities only.

  • The Consortium must nominate one Australian University as the lead Applicant and the Consortium must submit the application in the lead Applicant's name. That Australian University will be accountable for meeting the legal and reporting requirements on behalf of the Consortium.

Individual Australian Universities submit applications in their own name, or they may also form part of Consortia submitting additional applications. Consortia applications are in addition to individual Australian University applications and do not need to be counted or ranked as part of individual Australian University applications. Consortia applications are encouraged – particularly where they enable Australian Universities to undertake Mobility Projects they would have been unable to implement as an individual Australian University. Applicants should be aware that applying for the same Mobility Project/s through individual and Consortia applications will be monitored and is discouraged.

  • When partnering with a Host Institution, local Host Institutions are preferred. Applicants cannot partner with off-shore campuses from other locations. On a 12-month trial basis, study is eligible at off-shore campuses 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 academic credit from the Home University;
  • the host 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/region context; and
  • the Home University is continuing to explore and expand partnerships with local universities in that location.

5.4 Students

Students who receive a grant from an Applicant under the 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 on-shore campus of an Australian University at the time of application and throughout their study.
  • 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.

Additionally, the Applicant's proposed Mobility Project must:

  • commence in accordance with the timeline at section 6. Students who have already commenced a mobility project overseas are not eligible to receive a New Colombo Plan grant to continue that project; and
  • provide Students with academic credit or be a mandatory component of a Student's course at their Home University.

6. Timeline for selection process

The table below summarises key dates and steps for the selection process.

Timeline for selection process

Timeline

Activity

4 August 2014

Program guidelines distributed to universities

4 August 2014

2015 Round opens for the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program

19 September 2014

Applications for the 2015 Round of the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program close

20 September – 13 October

Applications assessed and reviewed

October – November 2014

Funding decisions formalised and offers to Applicants made

30 November 2014

Project schedules and invoices due

December 2014 (expected)

Details of grants published on www.dfat.gov.au/dept/grants

January 2015 – August 2016

Students depart on approved programs
Students may depart as soon as the project schedule and invoice is received by the Department of Education. Student details must also be entered on ISEO at least three weeks before the Student departs Australia.

October 2016

Application acquittal due (completion report)

7. Application Process

Applicants may submit applications for as many Host Locations as they wish, noting that only one application can be submitted per Host Location per Applicant. If an Applicant submits more than one application, they must rank their applications in order of priority.

Applicants may include multiple Mobility Projects within one application. If an Applicant includes more than one Mobility Project within an application, they must rank the Mobility Projects in order of priority.

ISEO will capture the ranking of the application. However, ranking of Mobility Projects must be indicated in the project/s description (see section 7.1).

For example, Applicant X submits three applications – one for Host Location A (ranked number 1), one for Host Location B (ranked number 2) and one for Host Location C (ranked number 3). The Host Location A application includes three Mobility Projects ranked in priority order. The Host Location B application includes one Mobility Project. The Host Location C application includes two Mobility Projects ranked in priority order.

7.1 Project/s description

Applicants are required to provide descriptions of each Mobility Project/s in each application on ISEO. There is a limit of 1,000 words for the description of all Mobility Projects within each application.

Each application should include as much information as possible on each proposed Mobility Project, including but not limited to:

  • An identifying title for each Mobility Project
  • The priority ranking of that Mobility Project
  • Brief description of the Mobility Project (1-2 sentences), including study experience type and participating faculty/disciple areas
  • Host Location including secondary Host Location if applicable (see section 5.2), including the reason why this is required
  • Indicative Student numbers
  • Partner institutions and city/region (if known)
  • Indicative travel dates
  • Responses against each selection criterion
  • Amount of grant funding and (if applicable) administration funding sought – including whether there is an ability to scale the Mobility Project up or down.

Where an Applicant is applying for the additional $1000 Internship grant, an additional selection criterion must be responded to in the application providing additional details about the nature of the Internship and the indicative number of grants sought. See section 8.2.

7.2 Guidance on funding per Applicant

For this funding round, approximately $8 million will be available. Under the Program eligibility requirements (see section 5.3) 41 Australian Universities are eligible to apply for funding, in addition to Australian University Consortia.

As outlined in the Program's objectives (see section 2.3), the Government is seeking to utilise the funding to ensure a diversity of Mobility Projects (including fields of study and types of Student experience) and a spread of Mobility Projects across eligible Host Locations, Applicants and Host Institutions. Applicants should indicate in their application whether there is an ability to scale any of the Mobility Projects up or down and are also encouraged to focus their applications on strategic Mobility Projects that develop new partnerships and programs.

Applicants are encouraged to take into account the desirability of diversity when developing their applications. Applicants should also note that the New Colombo Plan remains a competitive program that provides no guarantee of funding to Applicants. Smaller applications across all Host Locations are welcomed, as they help to support diversity across destinations and fields of study.

7.3 ISEO

Applicants will apply for Program Funding, accept or decline funding offers, input Student details, vary Mobility Projects where necessary and acquit applications through ISEO.

An ISEO User Guide is available by emailing student.mobility@education.gov.au

If an Applicant is experiencing technical difficulties submitting an application through ISEO, please contact the student mobility team.

A telephone hotline will be open 7 days prior to the application closing date.

ISEO TECHNICAL ISSUES HOTLINE – 02 6240 0380

Available seven business days prior to the closing date (8:30-17:00 EST).

7.4 What documents are required in applications?

Applications are to be submitted through ISEO. No additional documentation is required to be submitted with the application.

Successful Applicants will be required to enter into a funding agreement with the Commonwealth. The funding agreement comprises a Deed of Standing Offer (DoSO) and a project schedule (see section 11.1).

8. Selection Process

Applicants will be required to provide a description of the proposed Mobility Project/s (see section 7.1) and evidence demonstrating that they meet each of the selection criteria at section 8.1. Note that the assessors will be seeking to ensure balanced representation across Host Locations when evaluating the applications as a whole.

8.1 What are the selection criteria for applications?

Each application should contain a written response to the following selection criteria.

Conformance with New Colombo Plan strategic objectives and long-term sustainability of the Mobility Project/s

(50 per cent weighting; 500 words)

Applications should provide a detailed response that thoroughly explains how the proposed Mobility Project/s support the objectives of the New Colombo Plan (section 2.3). In particular, applications should demonstrate how the Mobility Project/s will: increase the level of mobility at the Home University, and support new student mobility that would not otherwise have occurred; establish or strengthen networks with overseas partners (universities and private networks); and continue to be sustainable over time. The facilitation of Internships or Mentorships is encouraged.

Development of new and innovative programs for the New Colombo Plan

(25 per cent weighting; 300 words)

For each Mobility Project, applications should identify what element/s of the Mobility Project are new or innovative in terms of ways of providing opportunities for undergraduate students to engage with the Indo-Pacific region. This may include, but is not limited to, new partnership arrangements, new types of study being offered to the Applicant's students, Mobility Projects from faculties/schools that have previously no or low participation in mobility to that Host Location or increasing participation from diverse student groups2.

Applicants may also indicate if/how they will ensure balance and diversity across the genders.

Recognition of Student participation and ongoing promotion and engagement with the New Colombo Plan

(10 per cent weighting; 200 words)

Applications must outline what credit will be provided for participation in each Mobility Project, or explain how the Students' off-shore study is a mandatory component of the course. The application should also describe: how the Applicant will recognise Students' participation in the New Colombo Plan (such as recognition on Academic Transcripts or an Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement), any on-shore or off-shore promotion of the Mobility Project and the New Colombo Plan, and what measures the Applicant will take to encourage Students to maintain connections with their Host Institutions.

Proper use of the funding sought

(10 per cent weighting; 200 words)

Applications must demonstrate that the funding sought will be spent in accordance with the requirements outlined in section 4. For each Mobility Project, the application must outline:

  • proposed Student grant amount
  • total funding to be applied to individual Mobility Projects
  • any administration funding sought (maximum 10 per cent of grant amount on top of grant funding).

Applications should also briefly describe what costs the Student grants are intended to cover or supplement (such as travel, living, insurance, tuition or any other relevant costs), whether any other funding sources (such as OS-HELP) will be used to complement New Colombo Plan funding and how administration funding will be used.

Adequate strategies and services to support Student welfare and learning outcomes.

(5 per cent weighting; 200 words)

Applications should outline what strategies will be used to ensure Students' pastoral care and learning outcomes are supported. This may include, but is not limited to, critical incident plans, travel insurance, home and Host Institution support staff, pre-departure briefings and induction programs.

Applicants must provide an assurance that Students will not be allowed to travel to areas for which the travel advice on the Smartraveller website (www.smartraveller.gov.au) recommends "Do not travel". Travel to Host Locations for which the Smartraveller travel advice recommends "reconsider your need to travel" are eligible Host Locations under the Program, but Applicants must acknowledge explicitly in their application that they have read the travel advice and considered the risks carefully before deciding to apply.


2 Diverse groups including but not limited to: students from regional/remote areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students from a Low Socio-Economic Status, students with disabilities or students from a non-English speaking background.

8.2 Additional selection criteria for Internship grant

The following criterion is only applicable if the Applicant is applying for the additional $1000 (per Student) Internship grant.

Grants will successfully encourage participation in Internship opportunities. (100 per cent weighting for the additional grant – 200 words)
For each Mobility Project where an additional Internship component is proposed, applications should detail how this component will be facilitated. This should include information regarding how the Internship will be sourced, visa requirements (if applicable), length of the Internship and any other relevant information. If no Internship is proposed, no response is required.

8.3 Other considerations

In addition to the selection criteria, 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)

9. Assessment process

9.1 Who will assess the applications?

All applications will be assessed by officers from the Department of Education to determine whether or not they are eligible for funding and for initial shortlisting. The assessors will comprise officers with commensurate skills and experience to assess applications. Eligibility is determined applying the criteria set out in section 5.

Eligible applications will be assessed against the selection criteria by panels made up of representatives from the Department of Education and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for initial shortlisting. The Program Delegate/s approve final mobility grant outcomes following receipt of short-listing recommendations.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Education will be informed of the Program Delegate/s decision and Applicants will be informed in accordance with the timetable at section 6.

9.2 How will applications be assessed?

Applications will be assessed according to a two stage process:

  • Eligibility is determined as outlined in section 5.
  • Eligible applications are assessed against each of the selection criteria and given a score.

The panel will also take into consideration:

  • applications that indicate that they can be scaled up or down
  • the application ranking (and ranking of Mobility Projects within each application) provided by Applicants

Based on judgments around eligibility and performance against the selection criteria, it is possible for some Mobility Projects within an application to be approved while other Mobility Projects in the same application would be rejected. In this case Applicants may be offered partial funding only covering particular elements of their application. Applicants may accept or decline partial funding – however negotiations over what the partial funding covers cannot be entered into.

10. Acceptance process

10.1 How will Applicants be advised of the outcome of their application?

The Department of Education will advise International Liaison Officers of the outcomes of their application/s through ISEO. Successful applications will receive offers of funding in the form of a project schedule to the Deed of Standing Offer (DoSO) Regarding Mobility Programs.

The Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Education may also choose to notify Australian Universities' senior executive of funding outcomes.

10.2 Offers of funding

The level of funding offered to Applicants for eligible Mobility Projects is at the discretion of the Program Delegate/s based on available funding and in line with the selection process.

As noted in section 9.2, it is possible for some Mobility Projects within an application to be approved while other Mobility Projects in the same application would be rejected. In this case Applicants may be offered partial funding only covering particular elements of their application. Applicants may accept or decline partial funding – however negotiations over what the partial funding covers cannot be entered into.

11. Funding agreement

11.1 Entering into a funding agreement

Successful Applicants will be required to enter into a project schedule to the DoSO together referred to as the funding agreement.

The funding agreement will contain an obligation that both parties must comply with these guidelines, which may be amended by the Australian Government from time to time. To the extent of any inconsistency between the funding agreement and the guidelines, the funding agreement will prevail.

If a Mobility Project commences before the project schedule is executed, the Commonwealth is not liable for any expenditure incurred before the date of execution.

A sample of the DoSO and the project schedule are at Attachments A and B.

11.2 How will underperformance be managed?

In the case of underperformance against the requirements in the DoSO and these guidelines, in addition to any rights that the Department of Education has under the DoSO, remedial action may be taken by the Department of Education. This remedial action may include:

  • consultation and negotiation with the successful Applicant;
  • deferral and/or staging of scheduled payments;
  • recovery of funds already paid; and
  • referral to proper authorities for investigation of any improper use of Program Funds.

11.3 Variations to the funding agreement

A variation to a funding agreement will be considered if it:

  • is consistent with the Program's strategic objectives
  • is appropriate in all circumstances.

The onus is on successful Applicants to contact the Department of Education to start the funding agreement variation process. A copy of the Department of Education student mobility programs variation policy is available on ISEO or by contacting student.mobility@education.gov.au

11.4 Funding acquittal process

All Mobility Projects are required to be acquitted through the submission of a completion report by the acquittal date specified at section 6.

Acquittals will require confirmation that the Mobility Project/s was implemented and that the program funding was spent in accordance with these guidelines and the DoSO. Successful Applicants are required to submit a statutory declaration to the Department of Education to that effect.

If it appears that a successful Applicant will be unable to acquit its program funding in accordance with these requirements, they should notify the Department of Education at student.mobility@education.gov.au as soon as the situation arises. If necessary, a variation to the funding agreement may be approved (see section 11.3).

12. How are complaints and feedback handled?

The Australian Government will not accept responsibility for any misunderstanding arising from the failure by an Applicant to comply with these guidelines, or arising from any ambiguity, discrepancy or error contained in an application.

Applicants are responsible for all costs incurred in the preparation and lodgement of their applications.

Complaints in relation to the processing of applications should be sent to the Department of Education at: student.mobility@education.gov.au

Appeals against selection decisions will not be considered.

13. Disclosure of information

The use and disclosure of information provided to the Department of Education and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade by Applicants for the Program is regulated by legislation including the Public Service Act 1999 (Cth), the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth), the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), as well as the common law.

13.1 What information about Applicants will be announced?

The Department of Education and the Department of Foreign Affairs may publicly announce details of funded Mobility Projects, including but not limited to:

  • the names of Mobility Projects, their Australian University and Host Institution/s
  • a brief description of study areas and Internships/Mentorships being supported (and their timing) through the Mobility Projects
  • the amount of funding awarded.

13.2 Privacy

The Department of Education and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and their contractors are bound by the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act). Schedule 1 of the Privacy Act outlines the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), which prescribe the rules for handling Personal Information.

Without collecting Personal Information the Department of Education and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will not be able to adequately manage the Program. Personal Information provided to the Department of Education and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in relation to Mobility Projects under the New Colombo Plan will be used only for the following purposes ('the purposes'):

  • administering and performance monitoring the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program;
  • promoting the New Colombo Plan, including in promotional material, information and publications in hardcopy and/or on the internet; and
  • congratulating and/or inviting Students to functions and events held in Australia and overseas.

The Department of Education and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade may disclose Personal Information in relation to Mobility Projects under the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program for the same purposes listed above to the following recipients:

  • other Australian Government Departments and agencies, including Austrade, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Australian Federal Police and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet;
  • Australian Parliamentarians and Parliamentary committees;
  • contractors and agents of the Department of Education and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade;
  • Australian universities, including International Liaison Officers;
  • Potential Internship hosts, including but not limited to companies, Host Location governments/authorities or non-government organisations. These may be foreign organisations (noting that representatives of foreign companies or organisations are not bound by Australian privacy legislation);
  • representatives of Host Location governments/authorities (noting that representatives of foreign governments/authorities are not bound by Australian Privacy legislation); and
  • in publicly available promotional material, information and publications in hardcopy and/or on the internet.

The Department of Education and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will not otherwise use or disclose the Personal Information for a purpose other than that identified in these Guidelines, except where:

  • the Department of Education and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have the individual's consent to use or disclose the information for that other purpose;
  • the individual would reasonably expect a use or disclosure to be made for that other purpose and it is related to the purposes outlined in these Guidelines;
  • the use or disclosure of the information for another purpose is required or authorised by or under an Australian law or a court/tribunal order;
  • permitted general situation exists (such as serious threats to life, health or safety of an individual or the public, suspected unlawful activity or serious misconduct; missing persons; legal or equitable claims; alternative dispute resolution processes; or diplomatic or consular functions); or
  • the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary for enforcement related activities by or on behalf of an enforcement body.

For more information on privacy, including information on handling of Personal Information, how someone can access or correct Personal Information, or how to make a complaint, go to:

13.3 Confidentiality

Identification of Confidential Information
Information which satisfies the four criteria listed below will be treated by the Commonwealth as Confidential Information:

  • the information to be protected has been clearly identified by the Applicant;
  • the information is commercially sensitive;
  • the disclosure of the information would cause unreasonable detriment to the Applicant or another party; and
  • the information was provided by the Applicant under an understanding that it would remain confidential.

Confidential Information also includes information designated by the Commonwealth as confidential or that either party knows or ought to know is confidential. This does not include information that is otherwise in the public domain.

Applicants must ensure that they clearly mark information in their application that is confidential and explain why it should be treated as Confidential Information.

Use of Confidential Information
Even if information belonging to the Applicant is marked confidential, it may be used by the Department of Education, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other parts of the Commonwealth.

The Confidential Information will be disclosed to Commonwealth employees and contractors and agents for the purposes of determining the suitability of Applicants and Students to enhance the reputation of Australia as New Colombo Plan partners.

In addition to the above, the Department of Education and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade may disclose the Confidential Information to:

  • the Auditor-General, Ombudsman or Privacy Commissioner;
  • the responsible Minister/s;
  • a House or a Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia;
  • a third party contractor engaged by the Commonwealth for audit-related purposes;
  • other Commonwealth agencies for law enforcement purposes, where the disclosure will serve the Commonwealth's legitimate interests and, if necessary, to substantiate an Applicant's claims; or
  • a technical, financial, economic and/or industry expert (including auditors) from whom the Department of Education or the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade wishes to seek advice.

Confidential Information may also be disclosed if the Commonwealth is otherwise required or permitted by law to do so (for example in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1982), where the consent of the Applicant and/or Student to the release of information is obtained prior to its disclosure, or where the information enters the public domain due to the actions of someone other than the Commonwealth. Personal Information will be handled in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act.

13.4 Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) provides a legally enforceable right to government documents, including documents with regard to the New Colombo Plan.

Decisions regarding requests for access under the FOI Act are made by authorised FOI decision-makers in accordance with the requirements of the FOI Act.

The right of access to documents is subject to exemptions, including in relation to personal and business information. In certain circumstances where documents within the scope of an FOI request contain Personal Information or information which relates to the business, commercial or financial affairs of third parties, the FOI Act requires the decision-maker to consult with the individuals and business affected if release of the material is being considered.

All FOI requests must be referred, immediately via email at foi@dfat.gov.au, to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. As required, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will consult the Department of Education on FOI requests.

14. How will the Program be evaluated?

Any information collected as part of the Program can be used by the Department of Education and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for performance monitoring and management of the New Colombo Plan. Information will also be used to create testimonials for promotional material.

Information collected in ISEO will be used by the Department of Education and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for performance monitoring and management. ISEO is used to collect information about Applicants, Students, program outcomes and performance (including reports).

All Applicants and Students may be asked to participate in the evaluation of the Program.

Last Updated: 12 September 2014
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