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The New Colombo Plan

NCP Scholarships

The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is an initiative of the Australian Government that aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region in Australia and strengthen people-to-people and institutional relationships, by supporting Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the region.

The New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program provides opportunities for Australian undergraduate students, between 18 and 28 years of age, to undertake certain forms of study in eligible host locations in the Indo-Pacific region by providing generous study grants. The Program also encourages students to participate in community engagement and advocacy in relation to the New Colombo Plan.

Please note that each year the University of Tasmania also applies for grants under the New Colombo Plan mobility scheme in order to develop College led programs throughout the Indo Pacific.

Further information on short term College led programs and scholarships available can be found here.

The 40 eligible host countries for NCP Scholars are:

Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, 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.

In 2019, a total of 125 highly competitive Scholarships were awarded which and the number of scholarships available for 2020 should be similar.

The NCP Scholarships provides Scholars with:
  • a travel allowance of $2,500
  • an establishment allowance of $2,500
  • a scholarship allowance as a monthly stipend of up to $2,500/month
  • health and travel insurance for the duration of their overseas Scholarship Program
  • a dedicated case manager for the duration of their Scholarship Program who provides services including: pre-departure briefings; advice on health and travel insurance, advice and assistance relating to accommodation; and payment of allowances
  • New Colombo Plan Fellows (the top-ranked scholar in each location) will receive an additional benefit of $1,000 to purchase study materials for use during their Scholarship Program.
A Scholarship also may include;
  • tuition fees to cover the cost of study for up to one academic year (including student service and amenities fees), where scholars are studying as fee-paying international students, up to a maximum $10,000 per semester or $6,666 per trimester. These fees are payable directly to the Host Institution. The Scholarship will only provide for international tuition fees if no current exchange agreement place is available between the Home University and the Host Institution.
  • tuition fees to cover the cost of Language Training, for up to six months up to a maximum of $10,000 for Scholars studying as fee-paying international students. If Language training is less then one month, the amount is up to $1,500. These fees are only for in-country Language Training, and must be for an official language of the Host Country and are payable directly to the Language Training provider.

Students wishing to be nominated for the NCP Scholarship must:

  • be nominated by their Home University.
  • be an Australian citizen. Applicants cannot undertake their Scholarship in a Host Location in which they hold dual citizenship or permanent residency; or in which they have previously been a citizen or permanent resident.
  • be enrolled in units at an on-shore campus of an Australian University during the application process.
  • be between 18 and 28 years of age (inclusive) on 1 January 2020.
  • be undertaking a Bachelor Degree or Bachelor Honours Degree when the Scholarship Program commences.
  • have achieved a minimum 70 per cent graded average or equivalent for their undergraduate course at the time of application.
  • not be a previous recipient of a New Colombo Plan Scholarship.

Successful applicants are not allowed to commence another Australian Government funded off-shore Scholarship Program or mobility grant (including a New Colombo Plan Mobility Program grant) while undertaking their New Colombo Plan Scholarship program

Additionally, the applicant's proposed Scholarships Program must:

  • be full-time. Students who are studying part-time in Australia are eligible to apply for a Scholarship if they meet the other eligibility requirements.
We are now accepting expression of interest for the New Colombo Plan Scholarship.

Please email to request the New Colombo Plan Expression of Interest form. You must submit the completed form together with any supporting documentation by 7 of July 2019

A maximum of 10 students will be selected as nominees from University of Tasmania and will then have to submit their official application to the Government by mid-August 2019.

Saleem Ameen

Saleem Ameen UTAS Computer Science graduate and former New Colombo Plan Scholarship recipient, has recently been appointed a New Colombo Plan Alumni Ambassador. The New Colombo Plan Alumni Ambassadors Program supports one alumnus from each Australian university to promote the New Colombo Plan and the value of Indo-Pacific engagement on campus and to their communities, including school students, community groups and local businesses.

Saleem is looking forward to increasing knowledge of the New Colombo Plan throughout Tasmania during his term. If you have promotional ideas for Saleem or an event that you think could benefit from information on the New Colombo Plan, Saleem would love to hear from you. Saleem can be contacted at

2019 Scholars

Mika Bighin - studying Marine & Antarctic Science and will be travelling to study at Hokkaido University, Japan.

Samantha Climie - studying Arts/Law and will be travelling to study at Sophia University in Japan.

Bethany Green - studying Media and will be travelling to study at Shih Hsin University in Taiwan.

Grace Williams - studying Arts/Law and will be travelling to Indonesia to participate in an ACICIS program.

Lachlan Tucker - studying Biotechnology and Medical Research and will be travelling to study at Taipei Medical University in Taiwan.

2018 Scholars

Freja Svendsgaard, Bachelor of Applied Science (Marine Environment). Freja is currently undertaking her studies in Fiji.

Blair Fazackerley, Bachelor of Marine & Antarctic Science. Blair will be travelling to Papua New Guinea and he was also selected as the NCP Fellow for his destination.

2017 Scholars

A special dinner was held in Canberra on Monday night 28 November hosted by the Honourable Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs and attended by the Governor General, the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove. The dinner was to honour the 100 New Colombo Plan Elite Scholars for 2017. Of these 100 prestigious awards, five were presented to the following University of Tasmania (UTAS) students;

  • Sanjana Bidarkal (studying Medical Research and travelling to Singapore)
  • Saleem Ameen (studying Science and travelling to South Korea as an NCP Fellow)
  • Thomas Malone (studying Marine Science and will travel to Fiji)
  • Susan Katarzynski (studying Education and will travel with her family to Hong Kong)
  • Joseph Freeman (studying Medical Research and will travel to Indonesia)
2016 Scholars


James Ritchie, Bachelor of Business. James completed an ACICIS Program at the Indonesian Islamic University & Parahyangan Catholic University

"My New Colombo Plan Scholarship program consists of studying International Relations at Universitas Katolik Parahyangan in Bandung for one semester and then studying Islamic Business, Law and Society at Universitas Islam Indonesia in Yogyakarta second semester.

I have already completed an internship as an assistant to the board of directors at a international management consultancy company in Jakarta. I am planning to intern at a sharia bank also.

My New Colombo Plan has been an amazing experience and opened up numerous opportunities. It has been great to connect with business leaders, academics, politicians and students from all over Indonesia. I have no doubt these networks and experience will allow me to come back to Australia and make a significant contribution to the community through my field of study."

Anna Vaughan - Bachelor of Science, majoring in Mathematics and Physics.

Anna is currently studying at the National University of Taiwan.


Jessica Teoh - Bachelor of Medical Research. Jessica intends to complete a semester at the National University of Singapore.

"Medicine and culture are intrinsically connected and it unites nations in combating health problems.  I aim to make most of this incredible opportunity to create links between health in Tasmania, rest of Australia, Singapore and other countries in the Indian Ocean-Pacific region. Ultimately I would like to be a leader in the medical sector and contribute to shaping Australian health policies.

As one of the youngest NCP scholars, it will be a great opportunity in my formative years to have NCP illuminate my strengths and weaknesses and challenge myself. I've been exposed to so many great opportunities, high profile networking events with leaders at the forefront of their fields; I would never have had the chance otherwise.

Meeting other NCP scholars who are all so driven, capable and inspiring made me reflect on myself and what I can achieve".

2015 Scholars


Emily Forsyth, Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of Business.

In semester two 2015 I travelled to Vanuatu under the NCP. I was hosted by the University of the South Pacific (USP). At USP I studied four law units which have been credited as electives towards my law degree at UTAS. As part of my scholarship program I also undertook an internship at the State Law Office, the legal advisory body of the government of Vanuatu. As an intern I wrote letters of advice to various government departments, prepared explanatory memoranda for legislation, drafted enforcement applications and attended Supreme Court conferences. I also completed a course in Bislama, the national language of Vanuatu. Bislama is a form of pidgin English. It was great fun to learn and it helped me better connect with local people.

Outside of my formal scholarship program I had a very active social life in Vanuatu. There is a friendly and fun community of expatriates who are involved in all different kinds of volunteering and employment in Vanuatu. We had weekly beach trips, lunch dates, tennis games, ultimate frisbee clashes and pool swims, most of them followed by a relaxing shell of kava. I also spent a lot of time with my USP friends – staying on campus helped me to get involved in their weekend netball roster and nightly games of volley ball. In summary, I came away with a fascinating insight into our Pacific neighbours and their legal system, an enhanced ability to adapt to new environments, lifelong friends throughout the Pacific, a new sense of perspective on life and a great tan. I would encourage any student who is interested in the Indo-Pacific region to consider applying for a New Colombo Plan Scholarship.

Liam Callaway, Bachelor of Computing and Bachelor of Science.

Liam studied his New Colombo Plan in Japan at the University of Tsakuba for a full year. He completed two interships, one with a small Taiko drumming company in Tokyo where he assisted with general administrative work within the office including developing and updating their website. Liam's other internship was with Mitsui & Co. one of the largest companies in Japan that trade internationally.

Elizabeth Philips, Bachelor of Health Science (Environmental Health)

NCP Mobility Programs (college/school run short term programs)

The New Colombo Plan Mobility Program provides funding to Australian universities and consortia to support Australian undergraduate students to participate in semester-based or short-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research in 40 host locations across the Indo-Pacific region.

The NCP is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to assist Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the Indo-Pacific region.

Each year the University of Tasmania applies for grants under the NCP mobility scheme in order to develop College-led programs throughout the Indo-Pacific.

Students participating in these programs are assessed for a NCP Mobility grant generally valued between $2,000 to $3,000 and credit for the program is recognised as part of their UTAS degree.

NCP Programs running in 2019-2020