New Colombo scholars take on the world

Seven UNSW students have been awarded prestigious New Colombo plan scholarships, worth up to $67,000 each, for study and internships in the Indo-Pacific region in 2016.

New Colombo

(l-R) Fiona Docherty, William Bruffey, Joseph Harris, Nathan Leong, Julie Bishop, Matthew Nicholl, Wing Yee Jenny Yeung, Piero Craney, Clarence Ma

Seven UNSW students have been awarded prestigious New Colombo plan scholarships, worth up to $67,000 each, for study and internships in the Indo-Pacific region in 2016.

The Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop announced the scholarship winners at an awards dinner in Canberra last night.

The successful UNSW recipients are Jenny Yeung, Clarence Ma, Nathan Leong, Billy Bruffey, Piero Craney, Joe Harris and Matthew Nicholl.

“These students will have global opportunities through international coursework, internship opportunities and cross-cultural immersion whilst promoting both UNSW and Australia to the global market,” says Fiona Docherty, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International).

“Our students’ success in the New Colombo Plan Scholarship program caps off a tremendous year for UNSW in global mobility. UNSW has received $1.5 million in NCP outbound mobility scholarships and we have topped Australian universities in the percentage of the graduating cohort with an international experience.

“Outbound global mobility features prominently in the UNSW 2025 Strategic Plan and this success further cements our position as 'Australia’s Global University’,” she says.

A total of 100 scholars were selected across 20 locations in the region. UNSW scholars will study at leading universities in China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Korea and Indonesia.

“It is a great opportunity to expand on my current studies in ecology, environmental humanities and Indonesian studies and learn about their application to the Asia-Pacific region,” says Matthew Nicholl, who is studying a combined Bachelor of Advanced Science/Arts.

“It is also a great pleasure to represent UNSW and Australia through this prestigious scholarship,” says Matthew, who will be based in Indonesia.

UNSW Law/International Studies student Piero Craney says he is thrilled to receive a New Colombo Plan scholarship to study at the prestigious National Taiwan University.

“I am excited not only about the opportunities that the scholarship will provide me while on exchange, but the opportunities that follow upon my return – especially of the New Colombo Plan Alumni Program,” he says.

Student Representative Council President and UNSW Council member Billy Bruffey, who is studying Electrical Engineering/Commerce, says he is looking forward to completing an internship with the Australian consulate in Taiwan and hopes to have exposure to Australia's diplomatic mission in the region.

“I will be doing an internship with the Australian Office in Taipei in their Media and Culture Unit. I'll be assisting with public diplomacy, media, and engagement between the Taiwanese people and Australia,” says Billy, who will also study at National Taiwan University.

“Taiwan has been a geopolitical focal point for decades. The fusion of Chinese, Western, indigenous and Japanese cultures is intriguing, and I've always wanted to understand how the domestic identity has influenced Taiwan's foreign policy,” he says.

Launched in 2013, The New Colombo Plan scholarship program is a signature initiative of the Australian Government, which provides chosen students with the opportunity to undertake up to two semesters of study. Candidates are chosen based on academic excellence and community leadership skills.

UNSW scholarship winners and host institutions:

  • Joseph Harris, Electrical Engineering | Shanghai Jiao Tong
  • Billy Bruffey, Arts/Law | National Taiwan University
  • Jenny Yeung, Social Research and Policy/Law | National University of Singapore
  • Nathan Leong, Electrical Engineering/Commerce | Hanyang University
  • Clarence Ma, Law/International Studies | University of Tokyo
  • Matthew Nicholl, Advanced Science/Arts | University of Indonesia
  • Piero Craney, Law/International Studies | National Taiwan University