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Programs : Brochure

  • Program Terms: Calendar Year
  • Restrictions: Sydney applicants only
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Program Description:
NCP logo2024 New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program

Applications for the 2024 New Colombo Plan Scholarship Round closed on Sunday, 25 June 2023.

The New Colombo Plan (NCP), launched in 2014, aims to lift knowledge in Australia of the Indo-Pacific by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region. The NCP has two programs: scholarships (for study up to 19 months) and mobility grants (for short and longer-term study). Both programs prioritise internships, mentorships and language training.

The Strategic Objective of the NCP is to strengthen Australia’s regional standing by building a diverse cohort of Australian alumni with deeper Indo-Pacific knowledge, capability and connections.

The intended outcomes of the NCP are:

  1. increased number and diversity of Australian university undergraduates with Indo-Pacific capability

  2. deeper people-to-people and institutional relationships between Australia and the Indo-Pacific region, and

  3. students and alumni connected with leaders in government, business and civil society in the Indo-Pacific.

Semester-based study and internships or mentorships can be undertaken in 40 participating Indo-Pacific 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.*

Study can be undertaken at one of the University of Sydney’s Exchange Partner universities or another university/location on a non-exchange (study abroad) basis. Students who intend to study at an Exchange Partner university must also complete the Semester Exchange Program application in the relevant round. Application for the Semester Exchange Program in the equivalent of Semester 1, 2024 will close at 5:00pm, Friday 30 June 2023 and Semester 2, 2024 will close in early December 2023.

The 2024 NCP Scholarship Round Guidelines were released on 30 June 2023 and the link can be found below.

The New Colombo Plan Scholarship Round Guidelines provide information including eligibility requirements, assessment criteria and how funding will be allocated to successful applicants.

You must read the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program Guidelines 2024 before completing an application. Students should also review the 2024 NCP Scholarship Advice to Applicants.
To be eligible for a New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholarship, and to remain eligible during the Scholarship Program if a Scholarship is awarded, applicants must meet all eligibility requirements as stated in section 4 of the Guidelines.
An Applicant must:  
  • be nominated for the NCP Scholarship Program by their Home university
  • be an Australian citizen
  • not be a current citizen or permanent resident of their proposed host location(s)
  • be enrolled in and undertaking, until completion of all study components of the NCP Scholarship Program, at least one Bachelor Degree or Bachelor Honours Degree at an Australian campus of an Australian university.
  • be between 18 and 30 years of age (inclusive) for non-Indigenous applicants, or between 18 and 35 years of age (inclusive) for Indigenous applicants, on 1 January 2024
  • have achieved a minimum 70 per cent graded average or equivalent for their undergraduate course at the time of Application, as determined by the nominating Home university
  • not be a previous recipient of an NCP Scholarship, and
  • not be an employee of the branch of DFAT that administers the NCP.
Scholars must continue to meet these Eligibility requirements during the term of their Scholarship.

Unless otherwise approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Scholars may not commence another offshore scholarship or mobility grant while undertaking their NCP Scholarship program. 

In addition, the University of Sydney requires applicants to:
  • have successfully completed a minimum of 48 credit points in their current course prior to applying for the NCP Scholarship Program
  • have a minimum of 24 credit points remaining to complete in their University of Sydney course in the Scholarship year (2024), and 
  • Study Components must be approved for academic credit towards the student's course at the University of Sydney.
  • Please note that the University of Sydney does not allow students to participate in the NCP Scholarship Program during their Honours year including as part of the combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies, or through a stand-alone course after your undergraduate degree. 

Students need to commence their NCP Scholarship program on or between 1 January 2024 and 15 December 2024, and have a duration of between 3 and 19 months. Scholarship programs: 
  • may also incorporate an internship and/or mentorship component of up to six months in duration. Internships and mentorships are strongly encouraged where Host location visa requirements permit.
  • may also incorporate Language Training in an official language of the Host Location to a maximum of six months.  
Where applicants are similarly meritorious at both the application and interview stages, preference is given to applicants proposing longer period of study and/or an internship/mentorship and/or longer periods of language training.

2024 NCP Scholarship Information Sessions were held on the following dates. Here is a link to the 2024 NCP Scholarship Information Session slides.
Date Time Platform Location/Link
Monday, 29 May 11 am Zoom Completed
Wednesday, 31 May 12 noon Zoom Completed
Friday, 2 June 10am Zoom Completed
Monday, 5 June 3 pm Zoom Completed
Thursday, 8 June 12 noon Zoom Completed
Friday, 16 June 11 am Zoom Completed
Tuesday, 20 June 1 pm Zoom Completed
Wednesday, 21 June 12 noon Zoom Completed
Thursday, 22 June 12 noon Zoom Completed
Friday,  23 June 11 am Zoom Completed
Deadline to Apply
Applications for the University of Sydney internal selection process close:  Sunday, 25th June at 11:59pm.
Late application submissions cannot be considered due to the tight Government timeline.

In the application, you will be asked to address four main criterion.
  1. Academic excellence at the tertiary level
  2. Leadership and engagement in the community
  3. Adaptability and resilience
  4. Ability to contribute to the NCP strategic objective and outcomes

Interviews will take place for short-listed candidates weekdays between 5 - 14 July 2023.  Please keep these dates open in your diary. In the case that you are shortlisted for interview, you will be contacted with your specific interview day, time and location. Both in-person and virtual interviews slots will be made available. 

The University of Sydney will then select up to fifteen applicants who best articulated an understanding of the NCP strategic objectives and how they can personally contribute to these if selected as a 2024 NCP Scholar.

Each nominated student will receive an invitation to complete the Government online application form from 26 July 2023. The application must be completed by the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program 2024 Round closing date: Tuesday, 15 August 2023.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held online in September and October 2023. 

Scholarship Outcome, Pre-departure training and Awards Ceremony 
Successful nominees will likely be offered a scholarship in November 2023. They are expected to attend pre-departure training and an award ceremony in Canberra which is currently scheduled to take place on 4-7 December 2023. 
*Scholars must not travel to a Host location or region within a Host location for which the Australian Government’s Smartraveller advice recommends ‘Do not travel’ or ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ (see Where the Smartraveller advice is raised to ‘Do not travel’ or ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ for a Host location during the application process or while a Scholar is on program, the Scholar’s Case manager will work with the Scholar to identify an alternative Host location if required.