The University of Melbourne has been granted $1.125 million by the Australian Government to deliver fourteen study overseas experiences and internships in the Indo-Pacific region through the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program. In a first, the University has achieved a significant milestone in securing funding for all the projects it submitted.
New Colombo Plan programs are one of the ways in which the University partners with the Australian Government to build closer ties between Australia, Asia and the Pacific. The projects support Australia’s Foreign Policy objectives, focusing on enhancing Australia’s Asia literacy and language proficiency, and fostering connections across Southeast Asia, the Pacific and the Indo-Pacific region.
197 students will undertake study or internships in Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Fiji, Indonesia, Timor Leste, India, Vietnam and French Polynesia.
Among the projects are a Sustainable Design and Building Internship in India, a Geography field class in East Timor, and a Pacific Agriculture Field School in Fiji, the first dedicated international experience in the Bachelor of Agriculture.
Other projects include global business internships in India or Vietnam, Japanese language intensives and various study abroad programs, including a French-language subject on French Polynesia in a Global Context, delivered with RMIT in partnership with the University of French Polynesia.
Several of the projects will help build students’ understanding of challenges, opportunities and solutions associated with sustainable development, health, food security and globalisation.
University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global, Culture and Engagement) Professor Michael Wesley expressed his appreciation for the government's support.
“We welcome the support of the Australian Government in building people-to-people and institutional connections, as we are a leader in outbound student mobility and have seen a significant increase in participation as we have emerged from the pandemic.”
“These programs will significantly improve students' career prospects, providing them with invaluable international experience, language skills, and cultural insights. The University of Melbourne is committed to preparing its graduates for global careers, and these programs will enable students to develop the skills and networks they need to succeed in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.”
The Mobility Program funding follows an awards ceremony hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at Parliament House on 5 December 2023, at which five students from the University of Melbourne were named as New Colombo Plan Scholars for 2024.
The Scholarship Program supports individual students to undertake up to a year of study in the region, while the Mobility Program funds University projects in which groups of students can participate.