New Colombo Plan Scholarship for Top Scholars

The New Colombo Plan (NCP), a key initiative of the Australian government, aims to increase awareness of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by encouraging Australian undergraduate students to study and intern there.

The New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program is a prestigious and competitive program that offers Australian undergraduates the chance to pursue up to one academic year of study in up to 40 Indo-Pacific locations (around 120 recipients nationwide annually). Funding for relevant language studies, internships, and/or mentoring is also provided by the program.

The goals of the NCP Scholarship Program are to:

  • to award about 120 prestigious and fiercely competitive Scholarships to undergraduate Australian students from a variety of disciplines;
  • support more study-abroad opportunities across the Indo-Pacific;
  • motivate scholars to pursue more extensive study, language learning, an internship, and/or mentoring;
  • Engage in public outreach and public diplomacy with scholars, Australian universities, and other parties; and
  • Continue to build a vibrant Scholar alumni community where former Scholars can connect and share stories, promote the NCP, and deepen their understanding of and connections to the Indo-Pacific.

The NCP includes a prestigious scholarship program that prioritizes opportunities for internships and language training, in addition, to studying for periods of up to 19 months. Successful scholars have the wonderful opportunity to study or intern abroad thanks to the generous funding and support offered by the Australian Government.

Level/Field of Study

Select a program: Select a study program (courses) at the host university for which you will receive academic credit from your ANU academic college. Students must obtain approval from their academic colleges before beginning any proposed undergraduate overseas studies in order to ensure that their degree allows them to do so and that those studies will count toward their ANU undergraduate degree. The study period must begin in accordance with DFAT regulations. This will occur between January 1 and the end of the following year, in December. Please refer to the DFAT NCP policies.

Host Nationality

This scholarship is brought to you by the Australian National University in Australia.

Eligible Countries

The 40 Indo-Pacific Host Locations listed below are available for conducting scholarship programs:

Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, 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.

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To learn more about each location, students can visit the DFAT New Colombo Plan website.

When it adds significant value to the main goals of the scholarship program, scholars may apply to complete their study and/or internship components in more than one eligible host location, institution, or organization.

The Scholar must designate a primary location on their application form if the Scholarship Program is carried out in more than one location. Where the Scholar conducts the bulk of their scholarship-related study is considered a primary location.

Please carefully read the NCP Scholarship Guidelines.

Eligibility for the New Colombo Plan Scholarship

In order to be eligible for the New Colombo Plan Scholarship and to continue to be eligible if a scholarship is granted, applicants must (please refer to Section 4.1 of the NCP Scholarship guidelines):

  • their home university has nominated them for the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program (ANU).
  • hold citizenship in Australia.
  • not currently reside in their proposed Primary Location or any Secondary Location as a citizen or lawful permanent resident.
  • be an undergraduate student, enrolled in and pursuing at least one Bachelor’s Degree or Bachelor Honours Degree unit at an Australian University’s on-shore campus, until completion of all Study Components.
  • On January 1, 2022, applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 (inclusive) for non-indigenous applicants or between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive) for indigenous applicants.
  • have attained, as determined by the nominating Home University, a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 70% for their undergraduate course at the time of Application.
  • not have received a scholarship before through the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program, and
  • not work for the DFAT division that oversees the New Colombo Plan.

While enrolled in the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program, successful applicants are not allowed to begin another Australian Government-funded off-shore scholarship or mobility grant (including one awarded through the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program).

You must also have at least 24 ANU units that have been approved by your academic college and be enrolled in at least your second year of undergraduate (Bachelor’s degree) studies at the time of the application deadline in order to be eligible. You must have an online RAID assessment completed by your academic college(s) in order to be eligible for any proposed undergraduate coursework abroad studies:

  • For studies lasting one semester, 24 units are necessary, as determined by your academic college(s).
  • For studies lasting a year, 48 units are necessary, as determined by your academic college(s).
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How to Apply for New Colombo Plan Scholarship

Students should apply to ANU Global Programs on the Global Program System by the deadline of May 31, 2022, as applications are only open once a year.

Selection Process

Round One – ANU selection process

Please complete the Global Program System form for the ANU New Colombo Plan Scholarship. Applications for New Colombo Plan will be accepted between May 1 and May 31, 2022.

Along with applying for a New Colombo Plan scholarship, applicants must also submit an exchange application through the ANU Global Programs System for Semester 1 or Semester 2, 2022, or consider independent learning abroad programs in that year. When submitting an online application, applicants must request academic college approval through the RAID (Room Available in Degree) assessment for their proposed exchange or learning abroad proposal. The proposed studies must all be credit-bearing studies.

A panel of ANU staff members will evaluate and shortlist applications. Shortlisted candidates who meet the requirements will be invited to an interview with ANU.

Round Two – DFAT selection process

You will receive additional application advice in addition to having the top 10 ANU candidates recommended to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for consideration. The best way to frame an application will be discussed with nominated candidates by ANU Global Programs.

The final selection procedure will be handled by DFAT, and candidates who have been nominated will be required to appear in person for an interview with a panel in September and October 2022. The results of the DFAT selection process will be communicated to all successful and unsuccessful applicants in November 2022.

Application Guidelines

In your application, you must address each of the following selection criteria, limiting responses to 300 words per criterion. Use the notes under each criterion as guidance for drafting your responses.

Academic excellence at the tertiary level (25% weighting)
You must currently have a grade point average (GPA) for your undergraduate program of at least 70%. The applicant’s demonstrated higher-order cognitive abilities, creativity, innovation, communication skills, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking skills in their university study will be considered in the evaluation of this criterion. Additionally, candidates may mention their academic accomplishments, such as publications, scholarly honours, and awards from tertiary institutions.

Community involvement and leadership are given a (25% weighting)
The applicant’s demonstrated leadership in the community, including in volunteer and non-profit roles, employment, and/or other activities they have engaged in locally, nationally, internationally, and/or at their university, will be evaluated in relation to this criterion. Candidates should give an illustration of a leadership position they have held.

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Resilience and adaptability (25% weighting)
This criterion’s evaluation will be based on your ability to complete and profit fully from a study experience in an Indo-Pacific region. Think about how you can improve your resilience, adaptability, and flexibility (especially in diverse cultural contexts), as well as how you can build relationships in the Indo-Pacific region and keep them after you return to Australia.

Ability to support New Colombo Plan’s strategic goals and results (25% weighting)
This criterion’s evaluation will be based on the applicant’s demonstrated comprehension of the New Colombo Plan program’s strategic objective and outcomes, as well as how the applicant and their proposed New Colombo Plan Scholarship program would contribute to those goals, including once they return to Australia.

Preference may be given to where Applicants have similarly meritorious claims in relation to the Assessment criteria:

  • Applicants proposing:
    • longer study component period
    • a mentorship or an internship component
    • a time period (or longer timespan) spent learning a language, and/or
    • a scholarship program that correlates the proposed study component, language training component, and internship component in a coherent manner.
  • the achievement of the diversity of placement across Host locations
  • representation from a variety of student groups, including but not limited to, students who are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, students from remote or regional universities, students who are the first members of their immediate family to attend college, students of both sexes, female students majoring in non-traditional fields, students with disabilities, and students whose first language is not English.
  • diversity in academic disciplines and universities in Australia
  • how the proposal adds value and uses appropriate funds.

Scholarship Award

Awarded recipients of a New Colombo Plan scholarship will receive:

  • Allowance for travel of up to $2,500
  • Up to $2,500 in establishment allowance
  • Monthly allowance of up to $2,500
  • a $1,000 mental health allowance
  • up to $10,000 in tuition costs
  • Support up to $10,000 for language instruction
  • Throughout the duration of the scholar’s program, health and travel insurance
  • Opportunities for sponsorship from the private sector
  • A dedicated case manager will be assigned to the scholar for the duration of their program and will offer services like pre-departure briefings, guidance on health and travel insurance, guidance and assistance with housing, and payment of allowances.

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