Skip to main content

 

Mobility Program Guidelines 2016

Contents

1.1 Purpose of Guidelines

These Guidelines provide information about the 2016 round of the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program, including eligibility and the process for assessing and allocating funding to grant applications.

These Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Frequently Asked Questions available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website at www.dfat.gov.au/people-to-people/new-colombo-plan. These Guidelines commence on Monday 23 March 2015.

1.2 About the New Colombo Plan

The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake Internships in the region.

The Australian Government is committing over AU[i]$100 million of funding for the New Colombo Plan between 2013-2014 and 2017-2018. It involves a prestigious scholarship program for study of up to one year and Internships or Mentorships, and a flexible mobility grant program for both short and longer term study, Internships, Mentorships, practicums, clinical placements and research.

The New Colombo Plan is intended to be transformational, deepening Australia's relationships in the region, both at the individual level and through expanding university, business and other stakeholder links.

1.3 Strategic Objectives

The New Colombo Plan aims to:

  • lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by increasing the number of Australian undergraduate students undertaking study and Internships in the region
  • deepen Australia's people-to-people and institutional relationships with the region, through the engagement of students, universities, businesses and other stakeholder networks in the Program
  • establish study in the Indo-Pacific as a rite of passage for Australian undergraduate students, and an endeavour that is highly valued by the Australian community, and
  • increase the number of work-ready Australian graduates with regional experience.

In 2016 the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program's strategic objectives are to:

  • provide around $20 million in mobility funding
  • support increased study experiences in as many Indo-Pacific locations as possible
  • encourage a substantial number of Students to undertake longer-term study, language study and Internships
  • fund Mobility Projects that facilitate increased student mobility to the region and new or strengthened partnerships between universities and other institutions
  • encourage private sector collaboration and sponsorship of the Program
  • engage New Colombo Plan Students, universities, and other stakeholders in public diplomacy and outreach, and
  • continue to develop an active alumni community that provides the opportunity for Students to share their experiences, promote the New Colombo Plan and continue to develop knowledge of and professional links within the Indo-Pacific region.

1.4 New Colombo Plan Budget[ii]



2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

Total

$27,817,000

$28,215,000

$51,083,000

$51,083,000

$158,198,000

2.1 Funding Purpose and Use

The New Colombo Plan Mobility Program provides funding to Australian Universities (the Applicants and Funding Recipients) which in turn provide grants to Australian undergraduate students to enable their participation in Mobility Projects in the Indo-Pacific region. The purpose of this funding is to meet the strategic objectives of the New Colombo Plan set out at Section 1.3.

Under the 2016 round, approximately $20 million in funding is available to support Mobility Projects through Student Grants and a contribution to Applicants' administration costs.

The Program will prioritise funding of Mobility Projects that meet all or a majority of objectives set out at Section 1.3. This includes Mobility Projects that: support new student mobility and new and strengthened partnerships; facilitate longer-term study, language study, and Internships; and promote diversity in Host Locations.

Up to 25 per cent of total funding available under the 2016 round may be directed towards Multi-year Mobility Projects undertaken between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2019, in accordance with the timeline at Section 4.1. The remainder of the funding will be directed to Single-term Mobility Projects (undertaken between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2017).

The Program will also prioritise funding of Mobility Projects that entail significant private sector in-kind support or financial sponsorship (beyond provision of Internships or Mentorships) to support universities to strengthen collaboration with the private sector in increasing student mobility to the Indo-Pacific.

2.2 Mobility Projects and Student Grants

Successful Applicants (Funding Recipients) will be awarded funding to be used for Mobility Projects in Host Locations.

Mobility Projects can include:

  • semester-based study
  • short-term study
  • practicums
  • clinical placements
  • Internships
  • short-term research.

2.2.1 Short-term Grant

Short-term Grants enable Students to participate in Mobility Projects that:

  • are equivalent to less than one full Study Period as recognised by the Home University, up to six months in duration, and
  • attract course credit or fulfill mandatory course requirements.

A Short-term Grant provides between $1000 and $3000 per Student.

2.2.2 Semester Grant

Semester Grants enable Students to participate in Mobility Projects that:

  • are equivalent to at least one full Study Period as recognised by the Home University, up to 12 months in duration; and
  • attract course credit or fulfils mandatory course requirements.

A Semester Grant provides between $3000 and $7000 per Student.

2.2.3 Internship Grant

Internship Grants are available for semester-based Mobility Projects that include an Internship component in addition to semester-based study. Additional course credit can be applied at the discretion of the Home Institution, but is not required.

An Internship Grant will provide $1000 per Student (which is in addition to a Semester Grant).

Students receiving a Short-term Grant are ineligible for Internship Grants. Where an Internship is the sole component of a semester-based Mobility Project, the Mobility Project is ineligible for an Internship Grant.

2.3 Use of Student Grants

Except as outlined below, Funding Recipients must use Student Grant funding for the sole purpose of providing grants directly to Students.

Where a Funding Recipient wishes to use the funding provided for Student Grants to make group arrangements on behalf of Students (and thereby not pay a component of the funding directly to students), the Funding Recipient must:

  • be able to demonstrate a financial benefit for the Students (for example, flight discounts available through group bookings), and
  • obtain Students' written consent to the relevant funding not being made directly available to them.

Funding Recipients do not need to provide the Department of Education and Training with copies of Student consent but should retain a record.

Funding Recipients cannot use the funding provided for Student Grants for their administrative costs (see Section 2.6). Funding Recipients should also inform Students of other funding options available, e.g. OS-HELP[iii].

2.4 Multi-Year Funding

In the 2016 round, funding is available for Multi-year Mobility Projects that meet an additional selection criterion and are approved to run for up to two additional years beyond the Single-term Mobility Project Completion Date of 30 June 2017 (i.e. between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2019).

Multi-year Mobility Projects allow the same project to be offered over multiple years to different cohorts of students. However, Multi-year Funding is only available to Mobility Projects that support Applicants to deliver a long-term and sustainable increase in student mobility to the region. Applicants must demonstrate how Multi-year Funding will enable them to scale-up and sustain mobility, and strengthen their partnerships e.g. Applicants could seek an increased number of Student Grants for each year of the Mobility Project's duration.

The required timeline for Multi-year Mobility Projects is available at Section 4.1.

Under the funding agreements for any Multi-year Mobility Projects, funding beyond 30 June 2017 will be contingent on the Funding Recipients submitting completion reports on an annual basis and the Australian Government approving continued funding following a review of these completion reports.

In the event that 25 per cent of total funding available under the 2016 round cannot be directed to Multi-year Mobility Projects, either because of a lack of demand or because applications are deemed unsuitable or are not competitive, available funding will be directed towards Single-term Mobility Projects.

2.5 Private Sector Collaboration and Sponsorship

Private Sector Organisations in Australia and the Indo-Pacific region make an important contribution to the number and quality of student mobility experiences under the New Colombo Plan by offering Internships and Mentorships, and hosting briefings and site visits for Students.

Under the 2016 round, the New Colombo Plan is seeking to build on this by encouraging greater collaboration between universities and the private sector through the development of Mobility Projects that entail in-kind and/or financial private sector sponsorship. For example, a Private Sector Organisation may wish to finance the cost of an additional Study Period to enable Students to have a longer period in-country, or they may wish to match proposed Government funding to enable increased Student participation.

Mobility Projects that incorporate private sector sponsorship will be given preference in the selection process (see Selection Criterion 7). In-kind and financial sponsorship provided by Private Sector Organisations must go beyond the provision of Internships, Mentorships and briefings.

2.6 Administration Funding

The Applicant may apply for administration funding for each Mobility Project, calculated at 10 per cent of total Student Grants sought for that project. Administration funding can be used for administration purposes associated with Mobility Project management, including but not limited to:

  • arranging, negotiating and researching details of the Mobility Project;
  • supervising, monitoring and evaluating Students' progress during the Mobility Project;
  • engaging the services of third party organisations which have relevant expertise to support Students to undertake the Mobility Project, and
  • general administration costs.

The Applicant must apply for any administration funding as part of the Mobility Project application.

3.1 Australian Universities

Applications for funding will be accepted from all Australian Universities (defined as providers listed under Table A or Table B of the Higher Education Support Act 2003) and consortia of Australian Universities.

3.1.1 Consortium applications

A 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. The Australian Government encourages consortia applications, particularly where they enable Australian Universities to support student mobility to the region that would have otherwise not have occurred.

Applicants must not apply for funding for the same Mobility Project(s) through individual and consortia applications.

3.2 Students

A Student participating in a Mobility Project must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • be an Australian citizen. Students cannot receive a Student Grant to undertake a Mobility Project in a Host Location in which they have dual citizenship or residency rights, or in which they have previously been a citizen or permanent resident
  • be enrolled in an on-shore campus of an Australian University throughout the duration of the Mobility Project, and
  • be undertaking a Bachelor Degree, Bachelor Honours Degree or Concurrent Diploma at the commencement of their Mobility Project.

At least 90 per cent of Students participating in any given Mobility Project must be aged 18 to 28 inclusive at the commencement of their Mobility Project. Up to 10 per cent of Students may be over the age of 28. Students under the age of 18 cannot participate in any Mobility Project.

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.

3.3 Mobility Projects

Mobility Projects must:

  • comprise activities listed at Section 2.2
  • commence in accordance with the timeline at Section 4.1
  • provide participating Students with academic credit or be a mandatory component of a Student's course at their Home University
  • be undertaken in an eligible primary Host Location as listed at Section 3.4, and
  • not include students who have commenced overseas study outside of this timeline (as such students are not eligible to receive a Student Grant).

In some cases it may be appropriate for a Student in receipt of a Student Grant to undertake a component of their Mobility Project in a secondary, eligible Host Location where it cannot be delivered in the primary Host Location. For example:

  • in the case of a Student, undertaking a three-month short-term research project in one eligible Host Location (e.g. Malaysia) which includes two weeks of fieldwork in a neighbouring eligible Host Location (e.g. Singapore), or
  • semester-based study in one eligible Host Location (e.g. China) with a one month Internship to be undertaken in another eligible Host Location (e.g. Hong Kong).

3.4 Host Locations

Mobility Projects may be conducted in the following 38 eligible Indo-Pacific Host Locations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

Mobility Projects must not involve travel to a Host Location or region within 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 recommends 'Reconsider your need to travel' are eligible for New Colombo Plan funding but Applicants should think seriously about the need to travel to that Host Location or region before deciding whether to apply.

Applicants must consider the risks of travel to all Host Locations and regions carefully before deciding whether to apply, and ensure strategies and services are in place to support Student welfare and safety (see Section 7.2 and 7.3).

3.5 Host Institutions

When a Mobility Project involves enrolled study in the Host Location, such as semester-based study, it should be undertaken at a local Host Institution.

Host Institutions should not be offshore campuses of a third country. On a trial basis, study is eligible at offshore campuses of Australian Universities if the Home University provides confirmation that 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/regional context, and

the Home University is continuing to explore and expand partnerships with local universities in that location.

4.1 Timeline

The table below summarises key dates for the 2016 round.

Timeline

Activity

March 2015

Program Guidelines published

2 April 2015

Application round opens

5 June 2015

Application round closes

June – August 2015

Applications assessed and reviewed

August 2015

Applicants notified of outcomes and funding offers made to successful Applicants.

Project Schedules and invoices due 4 weeks after offers are made.

September 2015

Grants published on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website 14 working days after the Funding Recipient has submitted the signed project schedule and invoice.

Single-term Mobility Projects

Timeline

Activity

1 January 2016 – 30 June 2017

Students participating in a Single-term Mobility Project may commence their study between these dates.

Mobility Project information must be current in ISEO at all times.

Confirmed Student details must be entered on ISEO at least 3 weeks before Students depart Australia (see Section 5).

30 June 2017

Completion Date. Completion reports due for all Single-term Mobility Projects.

Multi-year Mobility Projects

Timeline

Activity

1 January 2016 – 30 June 2017

First term of funding

Students participating in a Multi-year Mobility Project may commence their study between these dates.

Mobility Project information must be current in ISEO at all times.

Confirmed Student details must be entered on ISEO at least 3 weeks before Students depart Australia (see Section 5).

30 June 2017

First Completion Date. Completion reports due for all Multi-year Mobility Projects.

Funding Recipients must submit a completion report for the period 1 January 2016 to 30 June 2017 before additional funding will be provided.

Note the Australian Government requires up to 4 weeks to review completion reports and approve additional funding. Funding Recipients should factor this into their timeframes.

1 July 2017 –

30 June 2018

Second term of funding

Students may commence approved Mobility Projects between these dates.

Mobility Project information must be current in ISEO at all times.

Confirmed Student details must be entered on ISEO at least 3 weeks before Students depart Australia (see Section 5).

30 June 2018

Second Completion Date for Multi-year Mobility Projects. Completion reports due.

Funding Recipients must submit a completion report for the period 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018 before additional funding will be provided.

Note the Australian Government requires up to 4 weeks to review completion reports and approve additional funding. Funding Recipients should factor this into their timeframes

1 July 2018 –

30 June 2019

Third term of funding

Students may commence approved Mobility Projects between these dates.

Mobility Project information must be current in ISEO at all times.

Confirmed Student details must be entered on ISEO at least 3 weeks before Students depart Australia (see Section 5).

30 June 2019

Final Completion Date. Final completion reports due.

4.2 Application Process

Under the 2016 round, Applicants must submit one application per Mobility Project. Where an Applicant seeks funding for multiple Mobility Projects in the same Host Location, they must submit separate applications for each Mobility Project.

Each application for funding for a Mobility Project must:

  1. indicate the Host Location, field of study, whether Short-term or Semester Grants are sought, whether Multi-year Funding is sought, whether the Mobility Project is a new or existing project and whether the application is a Consortium application
  2. provide a title and description of the proposed Mobility Project (including whether the project involves travel to a secondary Host Location and whether the project can be scaled up or down), Mobility Project type, qualification level, indicative travel dates and Project Partner(s)
  3. confirm that the Mobility Project will be credit-bearing or a mandatory course requirement
  4. if a Project Partner is an offshore campus of an Australian University, confirm that the conditions at Section 3.5 have been met
  5. provide a contact point for the Mobility Project from the Home University (the academic or mobility officer leading the Mobility Project)
  6. respond to the seven selection criteria and where relevant, additional selection criteria for Internship Grants and Multi-year Funding
  7. provide a financial breakdown of the funding sought consisting of the proposed student numbers, the value of each Student Grant sought and whether administrative funding is sought, as well as evidence of any Private Sector Organisation support (e.g. a letter or other formal documentation) and the indicative dollar figure for any Private Sector Organisation and/or internal contributions to the Mobility Project
  8. provide declarations that:
    1. the person submitting the application has the authority to do so
    2. all projects will be implemented and funding will be expended and reported in accordance with these Guidelines and the Deed of Standing Offer
    3. financial support received from the Australian Government will be acknowledged in all publications, promotional materials and activities
    4. the Applicant has appropriate strategies and services in place to support Student welfare and safety (see Section 7.2 and 7.3), and
    5. the Applicant intends, where possible, to include representation in the Mobility Project from diverse student groups (including but not limited to: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students from Low Socio-Economic Status areas, students from regional /remote areas, students across the genders, female students in non-traditional fields, students with disabilities and students from non-English speaking backgrounds).

Applications must be submitted through International Student Exchange Online (ISEO), an online application and program management system. Refer to Section 5 for more information.

4.2.1 Application rankings

Applicants must rank their Mobility Project applications in order of institutional priority. University rankings will be considered in the selection process (see Section 4.6).

Applicants should be aware that ISEO will automatically rank all applications based on the order they are entered into the system. Applicants must then review and, if required, 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.

4.2.2 Further information

An application guide including detailed instructions on using the ISEO system will be made available through ISEO and on request prior to the opening of the round.

4.3 Selection Criteria

Applications will be assessed against the following selection criteria. Applicants should respond to all criteria. Note:

  • very strong applications will address all selection criteria, and provide justification against each applicable criterion
  • applications for Mobility Projects that cannot address all selection criteria (e.g. those that do not include Internship or language components) remain eligible
  • there are additional eligibility criteria at Section 4.4 for Applicants applying for Internship Grants and Section 4.5 for applications seeking Multi-year Funding.

1. Support increased student mobility that lifts knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia

(40 per cent weighting) (maximum 200 words)

Applicants should describe how the proposed Mobility Project will support increased student mobility that lifts knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region and Host Location among Students.

Responses should include examples of how this will occur, for example through cultural training, engagement with local social and cultural institutions or direct engagement with local community, business or academic networks.

2. Support for new and/or strengthened partnerships

(30 per cent weighting) (maximum 150 words)

Applicants must demonstrate how the proposed Mobility Project establishes or strengthens people-to-people and institutional relationships with the region, through the engagement of Students, universities, businesses and other stakeholders and how the relationships provide a strategic opportunity for enhanced engagement.

Responses should also give consideration to the sustainability of partnership(s).

3. Promote the New Colombo Plan, study and Internships in the Indo-Pacific region

(10 per cent weighting) (maximum 100 words)

Applicants must demonstrate how the proposed Mobility Project will promote the New Colombo Plan and its objectives, for example through:

  • recognition of New Colombo Plan funding and Student participation
  • building awareness and demand for mobility experiences in the region among students
  • New Colombo Plan and Mobility Project promotion, advertising and media engagement.

4. Support for semester-based study opportunities in the Indo-Pacific

(5 per cent weighting)

Applicants must advise whether their Mobility Project involves semester-based study. This criterion requires a yes/no response.

This selection criterion will be assessed as either "met" or "not met".

5. Support for language acquisition

(5 per cent weighting)

Applicants must advise whether their Mobility Project will incorporate a language tuition component in the Host Location. This criterion requires a yes/no response.

This selection criterion will be assessed as either "met" or "not met".

6. Support for Internships in the Indo-Pacific

(5 per cent weighting)

Applicants must advise whether their Mobility Project will incorporate an Internship component in the Host Location.

This selection criterion will be assessed as either "met" or "not met".

Note: Applicants should answer 'Yes' to this question if:

  • they are seeking funding for Internships Grants, and/or
  • the Mobility Project comprises or includes a short-term or semester-length Internship, clinical placement or practicum.

7. Private sector sponsorship of the New Colombo Plan

(5 per cent weighting)

Applicants must advise whether their Mobility Project will involve private sector in-kind and/or financial sponsorship. Where Applicants have private sector sponsorship, evidence in the form of a letter, email or contract must be provided at the time of application by uploading into ISEO.

This selection criterion will be assessed as either "met" or "not met".

4.4 Additional Selection Criterion for Internship Grant (if sought)

The following criterion is only applicable if the Applicant is applying for the additional $1000 (per Student) Internship Grant as part of a semester-based Mobility Project (see Section 2.2.3). This is an eligibility criterion that will be assessed as either "eligible" or "ineligible", and does not form part of the scoring process outlined in Section 4.6.

Demonstrate how the Mobility Project will incorporate an Internship (maximum 100 words)

Applicants must describe the proposed Internship component, including information on the potential Internship host, the proposed benefits to the participants from the Internship, the proposed duration of the Internship, confirmation that the university has considered visa requirements (if applicable), and any other relevant information.

4.5 Additional Selection Criterion for Multi-year Funding (if sought)

The following criterion is only applicable if the Applicant is applying for a Multi-year Mobility Project (see Section 2.4). This is an eligibility criterion that will be assessed as either "eligible" or "ineligible", and does not form part of the scoring process outlined in Section 4.3.

Demonstrate how Multi-year Funding will support the Applicant to deliver a long-term and sustainable increase in student mobility to the region that could not be facilitated by Single-term Mobility Project applications

(maximum 100 words)

Applicants must describe how Multi-year Funding will support their institutional strategy to increase and sustain student mobility to the Indo-Pacific region, including how the Multi-year Funding will assist the Applicant to:

  • stimulate new opportunities to scale-up and sustain ongoing student mobility
  • strengthen and sustain partnership(s) with the Project Partner(s).

4.6 Assessment and Selection Process

Mobility Projects will be selected for funding through a competitive, merit-based assessment and selection process conducted jointly by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training. Funding is provided to eligible applicants to support Mobility Projects that best represent value with public money in line with the New Colombo Plan strategic objectives.

Applications will be assessed using the following process:

    Eligibility will be confirmed based on the requirements outlined in Section 3, and Section 4.4 and Section 4.5 if applicable, and completed declarations as described in Section 4.2.
    All eligible applications will be assessed against the selection criteria outlined in Section 4.3.

3. Based on step 2 above, all eligible applications will receive a score and be deemed "highly suitable", "suitable" or "not suitable" based on this score.

Applications will then be selected for funding, to the limit of available funding, using the following process:

  1. Applications deemed "highly suitable" will be selected for funding
  2. Applications deemed "suitable" will be selected based on their score, with preference given to:

a. applications that promote balance and diversity in Host Locations, fields of study, Home Universities and Multi-year Mobility Projects, and

b. Applicants' own ranking of Mobility Projects.

The Australian Government reserves the right to offer partial funding to selected applications.

A final list of Mobility Projects recommended for funding will be provided to the Program Delegates for final approval.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Education and Training will be advised of successful Applicants prior to the commencement of funding offers.

4.6.1 Merit list

The above process will be used to determine a merit list of unfunded applications. This merit list may be used should additional funds be available.

4.7 Acceptance Process

The Department of Education and Training will advise International Liaison Officers (ILOs) of the outcomes of successful Application(s) with a letter of offer through ISEO. Applicants must accept or decline offers through ISEO before the date specified in the letter.

Once an offer has been made it is final and the Australian Government will not enter into negotiations about the nature of a funding offer.

After an offer is accepted, applications to vary a Mobility Project will only be considered under limited circumstances. For further information Applicants should refer to Section 6.3, or the Student Mobility variations document on ISEO.

Where a Mobility Project cannot go ahead or cannot be varied, the Australian Government may choose to withdraw a funding offer or request that Program Funding be returned.

Applicants will apply for funding and accept or decline funding offers through ISEO.

Applicants can nominate multiple people to have access to ISEO; however the nominated ILO is the only person who can submit an Application in ISEO.

Once funding has been offered a Funding Recipient will use ISEO to input Student details, vary Mobility Projects where necessary, and acquit Mobility Projects.

Funding Recipients must ensure the following information is always current in ISEO:

  • Name of Mobility Project
  • Institution Code (E306)
  • Start and end travel dates
  • Host Location(s)
  • Student numbers
  • Project Partner(s)
  • Home University contact point for the Mobility Project (name, position, email, phone number)
  • Internship/Mentorship details (if applicable).

Where this information has changed from the application stage, the Funding Recipient must submit a project variation in ISEO. Funding Recipients must ensure that all details are confirmed in ISEO at least six weeks before the Mobility Project commences.

Funding Recipients must upload the following information into ISEO at least three weeks before the Mobility Project commences:

  • The names and contact details for all Students that will participate on the Mobility Project
  • Student Identification Codes (E313)
  • Confirmation that all Students have consented to their information being shared with the Australian Government and other bodies in Australia and overseas (see Section 9).

This information is essential for the administration of the New Colombo Plan, including for promotion and performance monitoring, and inclusion of Students in the New Colombo Plan alumni network and other related functions and events held in Australia and overseas.

6.1 Entering into a Funding Agreement

Funding Recipients will be required to enter into a funding agreement with the Australian Government, as represented by the Department of Education and Training, for each Mobility Project.

The funding agreement will be entered into under the terms of a Deed of Standing Offer (DoSO). If a Funding Recipient does not currently have a DoSO under which this funding may be provided, then a DoSO will need to be entered into.

In order to conclude a funding agreement for a Mobility Project, a Project Schedule (as defined in the DoSO) will need to be agreed between the parties (according to the terms of the DoSO).

The funding agreement for a Mobility Project 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 Australian Government will not be liable for any expenditure incurred before the date of execution.

6.2 Management of Underperformance

In the case of underperformance against the requirements of a funding agreement for a Mobility Project, and in addition to any rights that the Australian Government has under the funding agreement, the Australian Government may take remedial action including:

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

6.3 Variations to Mobility Projects

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

  • is consistent with the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program's strategic objectives
  • is as close as is reasonable to the originally approved and funded Mobility Project as set out in the application and Project Schedule, and
  • is otherwise consistent with the requirements regarding use of Australian Government funding including the Commonwealth Grants Guidelines and Rules, the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and any other relevant governing policies for the disbursement of Australian Government grants funding.

Funding Recipients considering a variation to the funding agreement should first consider the information provided in the Student Mobility variations document available on ISEO.

Variation requests that the Australian Government considers to be a new project proposal will not be approved.

6.4 Funding Acquittal Requirements

All Mobility Projects are required to be acquitted through the submission of a completion report in ISEO by the relevant acquittal date. A completion report for each Mobility Project must include:

  • confirmation of the number of Students who participated in the Mobility Project and the final amount of funding allocated to Student Grants
  • the final amount of administration funding used
  • a summary of key achievements, major outcomes and highlights (up to 150 words), and
  • a list of publicity materials used to promote the Mobility Project and the New Colombo Plan.

Funding Recipients may also provide any feedback they have received formally or informally about the Mobility Project, including from participants.

Once the completion report has been accepted by the Department of Education and Training, Funding Recipients are required to submit a statutory declaration to the Department of Education and Training indicating that all funding has been spent in accordance with the funding agreement, and, if applicable, any unspent funds have been refunded to the Department of Education and Training.

A Funding Recipient may request an extension of the Completion Date at the discretion of the Department of Education and Training.

6.5 Funding Acquittal Requirements for Multi-year Mobility Projects

Multi-year Mobility Projects must submit a separate completion report for each term of funding offered, including a statutory declaration. The Department of Education and Training will not make payments for the second or third term of a Mobility Project until the completion report and student details from the previous term have been received.

Where a Funding Recipient does not use at least 80 per cent of the funding offered in a particular year and a variation is not approved, the Australian Government reserves the right to withhold funding in the following year or request a refund.

7.1 Australian Government

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training together administer this Program.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for the strategic leadership and setting the policy direction for the New Colombo Plan. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade manages the New Colombo Plan budget and matters related to business liaison, Internships, Mentorships, public diplomacy and alumni.

The Department of Education and Training coordinates application processes and administration of online systems, and is the first point of contact for Australian University International Liaison Officers on administrative matters, including eligibility for the Program, applications and funding arrangements.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training jointly manage program guidelines and selection processes, and review direction and implementation of the Program. Departmental officers involved in selection processes have commensurate skills and experience to assess applications and are required to complete a declaration to cover issues associated with Conflicts of Interest.

Neither the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade nor the Department of Education and Training arrange Internships or study programs, including accommodation in the Host Location, or direct universities, Host Institutions, Host Organisations, or Students about the manner in which work placements and study programs are carried out. Such matters are for universities, 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.

7.2 Australian Universities

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 Student's 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.

Responsibility for Student welfare and safety rests with the Applicant. The onus is on the Applicant to ensure that:

  • the Applicant has read travel advice on the Smartraveller website (www.smartraveller.gov.au) and considered the risk of travel to the intended Host Location and regions within the Host Location carefully before deciding to apply
  • adequate safety precautions have been investigated
  • travel insurance has been provided or Students will be supported to seek their own insurance
  • adequate support is in place at the Host Institution and/or Organisation and Home University
  • pre-departure briefings and induction programs are in place
  • critical incident plans are in place at the commencement of the overseas study
  • Students will not be allowed to travel to areas for which the travel advice website Smartraveller recommends, "Do not travel", and
  • all Students read the relevant travel advice and register their details with the Government's Smartraveller website prior to commencement of the Mobility Project.

When they submit an Application, Applicants must provide declarations to assure that they will meet these requirements.

Applicants must also disclose any Conflict of Interest in relation to any application in writing to student.mobility@education.gov.au at the time of submitting the application or when the Conflict of Interest arises or is likely to arise. The Applicant must take steps as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Department of Education and Training reasonably require to resolve or otherwise deal with that Conflict of Interest. Obligations for the management of Conflicts of Interest by Funding Recipients are set out in the DoSO.

To assist with Program promotion, monitoring and evaluation, the New Colombo Plan Secretariat may, from time to time, seek supplementary information from universities on Mobility Projects. As such, Funding Recipients should retain photographs, newspaper clippings, video clips and/or weblinks documenting the Mobility Project that can be provided on request. Funding Recipients must seek Student consent before providing any images to the Australian Government.

7.3 Students

Funding Recipients should advise Students receiving Student Grants to make their own independent inquiries about the risks involved in overseas travel and to the Host Location, and be fully informed about the risks at all times. This includes reading the Smartraveller website (www.smartraveller.gov.au) operated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for information about risks overseas and how they can prepare for overseas travel.

Students must register with the Smartraveller website and subscribe to relevant travel advisories on the Smartraveller website prior to commencement of their Mobility Project.

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.

Complaints, inquires and feedback in relation to the processing of applications should be sent to student.mobility@education.gov.au

If an Applicant is dissatisfied with the administration of the Program, concerns may be raised with the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will generally prefer that the Departments be given an opportunity to deal with the complaint in the first instance.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman may be contacted by telephone on 1300 362 072, email at ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.au or by post at:

The Commonwealth Ombudsman
GPO Box 442
CANBERRA
ACT 2601

Due to the large number of applications usually received, the Department of Education and Training does not provide individual feedback on why an application was unsuccessful. Applicants will be provided general feedback on why applications were considered unsuitable for Program Funding. Please see the Program website. Appeals against selection decisions will not be considered.

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

The use and disclosure of information provided to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training by universities 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.

9.1 Information to be Announced

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training 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, and
  • the amount of funding awarded.

9.2 Privacy

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training 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 Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training will not be able to adequately manage the Program. Personal Information provided to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training 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
  • promoting the New Colombo Plan, including in promotional material, information and publications in hardcopy and/or on the internet, and
  • including Students in the New Colombo Plan alumni network and New Colombo Plan and related functions and events held in Australia and overseas.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training 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 Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training
  • 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)
  • media representatives, and
  • in publicly available promotional material, information and publications in hardcopy and/or on the internet.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training will not otherwise use or disclose the Personal Information for a purpose other than that identified in these Guidelines, except as allowed under Australian law.

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:

10.1 Identification of Confidential Information

Information which satisfies the four criteria listed below will be treated by the Australian Government 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 Australian Government 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.

10.2 Use of Confidential Information

Even if information belonging to the applicant is marked confidential, it may be used by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Education and Training and other parts of the Australian Government.

The Confidential Information will be disclosed to Australian Government 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 Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training 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 Australian Government for audit-related purposes
  • other Australian Government agencies for law enforcement purposes, where the disclosure will serve the Australian Government'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 Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Department of Education and Training wishes to seek advice.

Confidential Information may also be disclosed if the Australian Government 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 Australian Government. Personal Information will be handled in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act.

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 and Training on FOI requests.

Program evaluation is an ongoing activity within the Australian Government. As such, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education and Training may use any information it collects as part of the funding agreements for performance monitoring and management of the New Colombo Plan. Information will also be used to create testimonials for promotion material.

Program stakeholders may be asked to participate in the evaluation of the Program, including Applicants, Corporate Partners and Students.

If you require further information on Program administrative matters, including eligibility for the Program, applications and funding arrangements please contact the Department of Education and Training at student.mobility@education.gov.au

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can be contacted through ncp.secretariat@dfat.gov.au

The arrangement under which public money is, or may become payable by the Australian Government for the Program can be found in the Financial Framework (Supplementary Powers) Regulations 1997 (Cth) (Schedule 1AB, Part 4, Item 9).

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 provider listed under Table A or Table B of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Bachelor Degree means undergraduate studies at a Bachelor level as described in the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Bachelor Honours Degree means undergraduate studies at a Bachelor Honours level as described in the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Completion Date means the date by which the completion report is due. Students must commence Mobility Projects before the Completion Date.

Concurrent Diploma means undergraduate studies at a diploma level as defined in the Australian Qualifications Framework undertaken concurrently with a Bachelor or Bachelor Honours Degree.

Confidential Information is information which satisfies the four criteria listed at Section 11.1 of these Guidelines or is designated by the Australian Government 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.

Conflict of Interest refers to real, apparent or potential private or personal associations or interests (financial or non-financial) which improperly influence, or may improperly influence, an Applicant's performance of their roles and responsibilities in relation to the New Colombo Plan.

Consortium means a group of Australian Universities only.

Deed of Standing Offer (DoSO) means an agreement between the Australian Government and an Australian University detailing the terms and conditions under which funding may be offered under this Program.

Funding Recipient means a successful Applicant.

ISEO refers to the Department of Education and Training's online system for managing the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program applications.

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

Host Location means the eligible geographic location in the Indo-Pacific region

Host Institution means a university or other education provider where the Students are enrolled for study in the Host Location.

Host Organisation means any other organisation that may host Students for work, training, study or research in the Host Location.

Internship means a paid 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.

Internship Grant means a Student Grant as described in Section 2.2.3.

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.

Mentorship means 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 in Host Locations for which Applicants seek funding, and in which Students participation is enabled by Student Grants. Mobility projects 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.

Multi-year Mobility Projects are Mobility Projects that meet an additional criterion and are approved to run for up to two additional years beyond the Single-term Mobility Project Completion Date of 30 June 2017 (i.e. between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2019).

Multi-year Funding is funding for Multi-year Mobility Projects.

Personal Information has the same meaning as in the Commonwealth Privacy Act (1988).

Private Sector Organisation means an organisation that is not owned by or under the direct control of a government.

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 and Training in their role as co-chairs of the Program Implementation Group.

Program Implementation Group is the group of government 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 Australian Government for the Program in any given financial year.

Project Partner means the Host Institution(s), Host Organisation(s), and/or any other overseas or Australian partner organisation(s) involved in the delivery of a Mobility Project

Semester Grant means a Student Grant as described in Section 2.2.2. .

Short-term Grant means a Student Grant as described in Section 2.2.1.

Single-term Mobility Projects are Mobility Projects that are approved to run for one funding period (i.e. between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2017).

Student means a student enrolled in an undergraduate course of study at a Home University throughout the duration of the Mobility Project and is the beneficiary of a Student Grant from a Funding Recipient.

Student Grant means a Short-term Grant, Semester Grant or Internship Grant, which is awarded to a Student for participating in a Mobility Project.

Study Period means a period of study for which the Home University will attract credit equivalent to at least 0.33 Equivalent Full-time Standard Load (EFTSL), as defined under the Higher Education Support Act 2003. This is a threshold requirement, and the Home Institution is free to apply a higher credit equivalent at its own discretion.[iv]

16 Attachment A – Sample of Deed of Standing Offer

17 Attachment B – Sample Project Schedule


  • [i] All figures are in Australian dollars.
  • [ii] Covers all aspects of the New Colombo Plan, including the Scholarship Program. The funding does not include funding for capital expenses.
  • [iii] OS-HELP is a loan available to eligible students enrolled in an Australian Government-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.
  • [iv] For further information on determining EFTSL, please refer to the Department of Education and Training's Higher Education Administrative Information for Providers policy document at http:docs.education.gov.au/documents/higher-education-administration-information-providers

Last Updated: 23 March 2015
Back to top