New Colombo Plan Scholarship 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 2019 and 31 December 2019 for up to a maximum of two sessions (across two consecutive sessions of the following: Autumn Session 2019, Spring Session 2019 and Autumn Session 2020). 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 Monday 14 May 2018 at 5:30pm.
  • Missed the webinar? Catch up on the video on YouTube (opens in a new window).

Eligible Indo-Pacific Host Destinations for 2019

  • During 2019 a New Colombo Scholarship Program 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 select NCP destinations (China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Taiwan please visit our Where can I go on exchange?. NCP Scholarship Programs do not necessarily need to be taken at an exchange partner university, and you are welcome to research other university options across the range of 40 eligible Indo-Pacific Host Locations, where you could study on an NCP Scholarship Program in a 'non-exchange' capacity.


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 six months;
  • 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:

  • apply directly to Western Sydney University;
  • be selected from the pool of candidates and short-listed;
  • be nominated by Western Sydney University to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In addition, all candidates must:

  • 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 currently enrolled in units at Western Sydney University during the application process, and be on tack to have completed at least 60 Western Sydney University credit points by the end of the 2018 academic year;
  • be between 18 and 28 years of age (inclusive) on 1 January 2019;
  • be actively undertaking a Bachelor Degree or Bachelor Honours Degree when the Scholarship Program would commence;
  • 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 short-listed candidates will be required to undergo a police check.

The above eligibility is a guide that is referenced and paraphrased from the official Australian Government New Colombo Plan Guidelines Scholarship Program 2019 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 application to Western Sydney University. In the event of any discrepancy between this web information and the official 2019 Australian Government guidelines, the guidelines will take precedence.


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.
  • tuition fees to cover the cost of Language Training, for up to six months up to a maximum of $10,000 for Scholars studying as fee-paying international students (or $6,666 per trimester). These fees are only for in-country Language Training, and must be for an official language of the Host Country and are payable directly to the Language Training provider. Scholars undertaking less than one month of full-time Language Training or part-time Language Training concurrent with another full-time program component, may have Language Training tuition fees paid up to a  maximum of $1,500.
  • 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 and Criteria

Western Sydney University Go Global and Study Abroad will nominate up to 10 eligible short-listed students who may be further short-listed by the Australian Government to apply for the 2019 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 2018 (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.


Applications are open now. To apply, click the red button on the top right-hand side of this page or click here (opens in a new window).

It is anticipated that as usual 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 application.

If you are selected by Western Sydney University, you will be required to complete an application form to the Australian Government in August 2018.

The Government will invite its final shortlisted applicants to Canberra for an interview in September/October 2018.

For more information contact the Western Sydney University Go Global and Study Abroad team:

T: (02) 9685 9052

Broad Timeline



11 April 2018Application portal opens
14 May 2018Scholarship Program webinar (opens in a new window)
22 June 2018 Application portal closes

22 June 2018 -
30 June 2018

Western Sydney University conducts first shortlisting, interviews and selects up to 10 nominees for the second shortlist.

1 July 2018 -
31 July 2018
Australian universities nominate applicants (Western Sydney University nominates its second shortlisted applicants).

1 August 2018 -
30 August 2018

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

30 August 2018

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

September 2018

Applications are shortlisted again and final shortlisted applicants are notified.

September 2018 - October 2018

Shortlisted applicants are interviewed.

November 2018

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 2018

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

1 January 2019 -
31 December 2019

Successful Scholars leave for their Scholarship Program.