Doors open to Indo-Pacific study

Fiji NCP
Flinders students are working on a New Colombo Plan biodiversity project in Fiji.

Overseas study opportunities for Flinders University students will expand next year with New Colombo Plan funding for 13 new projects in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Federal Government today announced more than $400,000 in funding to support projects for more than 120 Flinders students to apply their studies in India, Indonesia, China and Hong Kong, Vanuatu, Palau, the Maldives, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The latest round under the 2017 New Colombo Mobility Plan (NCP) program adds to funding for seven other ongoing Flinders NCP projects involving more than 100 students in China, India, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Nepal and a large collaborative environmental research project in Fiji.

In total, Flinders will have access to $940,104 in funding to support 238 students in 2017-18.

“It is valuable for our students to have subsidised opportunities to study and gain professional and personal development in countries in our region,” says Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Andrew Parkin.

“Flinders staff and students are capitalising on the tremendous value of overseas study and work-life experiences in adding to a comprehensive tertiary education to produce outstanding graduates,” Professor Parkin says.

“We’re also delighted to be lead university in a successful application from a consortium of Australian universities in the 2017 round, which builds on a rich spread of exciting projects in – many in developing countries and Australia’s near neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The consortium project in India includes five other Australian universities under the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) network. The Fiji collaborative project includes students and researchers from the University of South Australia and SA Museum.

The range of single-year and multi-year projects, some eligible for ongoing funding, cover the fields of education, health, natural and physical sciences, management and commerce, the creative arts, engineering and related technologies, along with mixed field programs.

The Department of Foreign Affairs received more than 1,000 applications for NCP Mobility Program funding this year, allocating more than $22 million nationally in the latest round.

The expanded program aims to give Australian undergraduates the opportunity to live, study or work as interns in Indo-Pacific countries, with the aim of providing valuable student experiences and building relations and partnerships with countries in our region.

Announcing the 2017 NCP grants, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said the New Colombo Plan has provided “life-changing opportunities for Australia’s future leaders”.

Many of the 17,000 participants over the past four years have seen their academic and career aspirations take off via the program.

“Through these students, a new generation of Australians will gain an in-depth knowledge of our region along with professional and personal networks to drive Australia’s future prosperity,” she said.

This year the mobility program will support more than 7,400 students from 40 Australian universities to study in 31 host locations throughout the region.

Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham said: “Expanding education links between Australia and the Indo-Pacific through these students is a key priority for the Turnbull Government and is an important part of transformative partnerships pillar of our National Strategy for International Education 2025.”

The NCP funding offsets some of the travel and study costs, with subsidies between $1,000 and $3,000 for short-term and from $5,000-$7,000 for semester length stays.

For more information on the New Colombo Plan, visit

Further information and enquiries about the Flinders University NCP program can be directed to Daniel Mather, Student Mobility Manager in the International Centre at


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