$1.1 million in New Colombo grants to assist UNSW students

Up to 400 UNSW students will head to the Indo-Pacific region in 2017, after receiving more than $1.1 million under the  Australian Government’s new Colombo Plan.

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Up to 400 UNSW students will head to the Indo-Pacific region in 2017, after receiving more than $1.1 million under the  Australian Government’s new Colombo Plan.

The New Colombo Plan Mobility Program grants will help the students travel and study in 12 countries including Vietnam, Myanmar, Samoa and India. The aim is to  help students increase their level of knowledge and understanding of the region, build connections and enhance future career opportunities.

Fifteen UNSW projects have been approved for 2017 under the NCP program.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham, announced the successful applicants from 40 Australian universities this week.

“The New Colombo Plan has proven to be transformative, providing life changing opportunities for Australia’s future leaders, with many participants reporting that the New Colombo Plan has given their academic and career aspirations a greater regional focus,” Ms Bishop said.

Senator Birmingham said expanding education links between Australia and the Indo-Pacific through these student initiatives is a key priority for the Turnbull Government and an important part of transformative partnerships pillar of the National Strategy for International Education 2025.

Mobility projects are open to students from any discipline and range from short-term study tours to semester-based study and internships.

Among the UNSW projects to receive funding were continuing Ambassador programs in Indonesia, China and India and a new program in Myanmar in 2017.

Semester exchange programs to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Korea for language training were also approved, along with bio-entrepreneurship studies in Indonesia and business studies in China.

UNSW Vice-President International Fiona Docherty said the projects aligned with the UNSW 2025 Strategy and would enable students to better understand how to make a positive impact beyond Australia, in particular helping to improve the lives of disadvantaged communities.

“Previous New Colombo Plan projects include the Island Innovation Labs where students developed enterprises to assist communities in Kiribati and Palau, and a project with UNSW engineering students that is helping to restore hospital equipment in Cambodian hospitals,” she said.