Liberal Party | 30 August 2013
The Coalition has announced details of its New Colombo Plan to foster closer ties between Australia and the region and develop stronger people-to-people links.
The original Colombo Plan saw some 40,000 students from Asia come to Australia from the 1950s to the mid-1980s.
The New Colombo Plan will be different the original, in adding an outward-bound component to the original one-way street. Once operative it will provide financial support for up to 300 young Australians studying in the region every year.
Scholarships will be awarded to applicants under 22 years of age who are enrolled in an Australian university undertaking an undergraduate degree. Applicants will undertake one or two semesters of study toward their degree at an accredited university within the Asia-Pacific region.
The program will start by 2015 and with a pilot programme in place in 2014 which we hope will include Indonesia, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. There will be scope for students to undertake internships with businesses or NGOs in host countries.
A Steering Group chaired by business leader Mr Kevin McCann AM, with Professor Sandra Harding, Vice-Chancellor of James Cook University and Chair of Universities Australia, as Deputy Chair, has worked up proposals for the implementation of the New Colombo Plan.