New Colombo Plan Information for Students

New Colombo Plan Scholarships

Western Sydney University is committed to providing our students opportunities to gain a global study experience.

The Australian Government New Colombo Plan (NCP) (opens in a new window) is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study, research and undertake internships in the region. These prestigious Scholarships will be awarded to successful applicants for study in eligible host countries in the Indo-Pacific. These Scholarships cover expenses associated with travel, tuition fees, health and travel insurance. A monthly spending allowance is also included.

NCP Scholars will study in an approved program destination in the Indo-Pacific for up to a full academic year. In addition to this, the experience can include Internships or Mentorships of up to six months, and language study. Applicants should be available to commence studying overseas between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018 for up to a maximum of two sessions (across two consecutive sessions of the following: Autumn Session 2018, Spring Session 2018 and Autumn Session 2019). Academic credit will be granted to successful applicants towards their degree.


Western Sydney University Go Global and Study Abroad held an NCP Scholarships Program Information Webinar on Wednesday 14 June 2017.

Missed out on the webinar?
No problem - you can catch the video of the webinar here. (opens in a new window).

Eligible Indo-Pacific Host Destinations for 2018

During 2018, Scholarship Programs can be conducted in the following 40 eligible Indo-Pacific Host Locations: 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.

For more information about Western Sydney University's exchange partner universities in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Taiwan please visit our Where can I go on exchange? page or email: Scholarship Programs do not need to be taken at a partner university, and you are welcome to research other university options across the range of 40 eligible Indo-Pacific Host Locations.


Scholarships will be awarded to successful applicants who will study overseas for one or two academic semesters, for which they must receive credit at their Australian university. Scholarship programs can also incorporate:

  • an internship of up to six months full-time before or after a study component (or part-time during a study component);
  • a mentorship during a full-time study component or full-time internship component;
  • intensive in-country Asian language training for up to one month;
  • activities that share the scholar's experience of their program with other awardees and their community in the year following their return to Australia.


To be eligible, Western Sydney University applicants for a New Colombo Plan Scholarship must:

  • be nominated by Western Sydney 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 Western Sydney University during the application process, and have completed at least 60 Western Sydney University credit points by the end of the 2017 academic year;
  • be between 18 and 28 years of age (inclusive) on 1 January 2018;
  • 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, as determined by Western Sydney University;
  • 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.

All successful applicants will be required to undergo a police check.

The above eligibility is a guide that is referenced and paraphrased from the official New Colombo Plan Guidelines Scholarship Program 2018 Round (opens in a new window). All interested students are strongly encouraged to read the Guidelines to gauge if the Program is suitable for them before lodging an Expression of Interest.


The New Colombo Plan Scholarship includes:

  • 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 of $20,000 ($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 (Western Sydney University) and the Host Institution.
  • language training tuition fees, where incurred, of up to $1,500. These fees are only for in-country language training and are payable directly to the language training provider.
  • a travel allowance of $2,500 to contribute to costs associated with the Scholar's travel to and from the Host Location.
  • an establishment allowance of $2,500 to contribute to the costs associated with the Scholar settling into their Host Location.
  • a monthly stipend of $2,500 to contribute to the Scholar's basic living costs in their Host Location.
  • 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 and top ranked Indigenous Scholar) will receive an additional benefit of $1,000 to purchase study materials for use during their Scholarship Program.
  • Scholarships may be sponsored by Private Sector Organisations for the duration of the Scholar's Scholarship Program. This may include in-kind benefits provided direct to the Scholars, such as training opportunities.

Selection Process

Western Sydney University Go Global and Study Abroad will nominate up to ten eligible students who may be shortlisted by the Australian Government to apply for the 2018 New Colombo Plan Scholarship.

The Australian Government will select successful applicants from the nominated pool forwarded by Australian universities. If you are shortlisted you must be prepared to attend a face-to-face interview in Canberra in September/October 2017 (travel and accommodation costs will be covered to attend this interview).

Nominated applicants will need to address a number of selection criteria including:

Academic excellence at the tertiary level (40 per cent weighting)

Assessment of this criterion will relate to a) the applicant's graded average achieved in tertiary studies, and b) to ungraded academic achievements, such as academic awards and commendations, publications, or other examples of academic excellence at the tertiary level. The applicant's communication skills, higher-order cognitive and critical thinking skills, and engagement in learning will also be assessed. High School academic
achievements will not be considered.

Leadership in the community (30 per cent weighting)

Assessment of this criterion will relate to the applicant's demonstrated leadership in the community, including volunteer and not-for-profit roles and/or activities they have undertaken in their local community, nationally, overseas and/or in their university.

Adaptability and Resilience (15 per cent weighting)

Assessment of this criterion will relate to the applicant's potential to adapt to change, thrive in a different environment, and demonstrate resilience in the face of challenges.

Ability to contribute to New Colombo Plan goals (15 per cent weighting)

Assessment of this criterion will relate to the applicant's understanding of New Colombo Plan objectives, and how the applicant and their proposed Scholarship Program would contribute to New Colombo Plan goals.

Expression of Interest

Expressions of interest will open at the link at the top right-hand side of this page on Monday 17 April 2017

It is anticipated that the New Colombo Plan Scholarships will be will be highly competitive. It is advised that you draft responses to the Criteria in the previous section, prior to continuing with the Expression of Interest.

If you are selected by Western Sydney University, you will be required to complete an application form to the Australian Government in August 2017.

The Government will invite shortlisted applicants to Canberra for an interview in September/October 2017.

For more information contact the Western Sydney University Go Global Office:

T: (02) 9685 9052




17 April 2017Expression of Interest portal opens
22 June 2017 Expression of Interest portal closes

22 June 2017 -
30 June 2017

Western Sydney University conducts shortlisting, interviews and selects up to ten nominees.

1 July 2017 -
31 July 2017
Australian universities nominate applicants (Western Sydney University nominates its applicants).

3 August 2017 -
31 August 2017

Nominated students receive application guidance and an invitation to complete an online application form. Applicants complete their application and gather supporting documentation.

31 August 2017

Applications close at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

September 2017

Applications are shortlisted and shortlisted applicants are notified.

September 2017 - October 2017

Shortlisted applicants are interviewed.

November 2017

Selections are finalised and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Education and Training are notified of selection outcomes.

All successful and unsuccessful applicants are notified of the outcome of their application.

December 2017

Scholars are announced and their details are published on the New Colombo Plan website.

1 January 2018 -
31 December 2018

Successful Scholars leave for their Scholarship Program.