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Programs : Brochure

  • Program Terms: Calendar Year
  • Restrictions: Sydney applicants only
  • -
Program Description:
NCP logo2021 New Colombo Plan Scholarships Round

Applications for the 2021 New Colombo Plan Scholarships Round closed on 27 April 2020. Applications for the 2022 New Colombo Plan Scholarships Round are pending the Government announcement.

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. increase the number and diversity of Australian university undergraduates with Indo-Pacific capability
  2. deepen 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.*

Eligibility: 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:  
  • have been nominated for the NCP Scholarship Program by their Home University;
  • be an Australian citizen;
  • not be a current citizen or permanent resident of their Primary Location or any Secondary Location;
  • be enrolled, until completion of all Study Components, in at least one Bachelor Degree or Bachelor Honours Degree unit at an on-shore campus of an Australian University;
  • be undertaking, until completion of all Study Components, at least one Bachelor Degree or Bachelor Honours Degree;
  • be between 18 and 28 years of age (inclusive) on 1 January 2021;
  • 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; and
  • not be a previous recipient of a Scholarship under the 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 (2021) and study must be for academic credit.

Students need to commence overseas study from 1 January 2021 and before 15 December 2021, and:
  • 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 this; 
  • may also incorporate Language Training in an official language of the Host Location for a period of up to 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.

Study can be undertaken at one of the University of Sydney’s Exchange Partner universities or another university/location on a non-exchange 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, 2021 will close in July 2020 and Semester 2, 2021 will close in December 2020.

New Colombo Plan Scholarship information sessions will be held on:
Date Time Platform Link
Tuesday, 24 March 1pm Complete
Wednesday, 1 April 12noon Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Thursday, 9 April 1pm Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Applications for the University of Sydney internal selection process close:  Monday, 27 April 2020 at 11:59pm

Interviews will take place for short-listed candidates between 25 - 29 May 2020.  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.

The University of Sydney will then select the ten applicants who best articulated an understanding of the NCP strategic objectives and how they can personally contribute to these if selected as a 2021 NCP Scholar. These ten students will then be directed to complete a Police Check before proceeding to the Australian Government application round which opens on 23 July and closes on 18 August 2020.

2021 New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholarship Program - Advice to applicants

The 2021 New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholarship Program Guidelines provide information on the 2021 round including eligibility requirements, assessment criteria and how funding will be allocated to successful applicants.

You must read the Guidelines on GrantConnect (GO ID: GO3702) before completing an application. You can set up a log-in (email address) and password in order to access the most recent version of all documents. Applicants should consider the 2021 Guidelines together with:
  • Sample 2021 Scholarship Agreement available on GrantConnect
  • Key changes to the 2021 round
  • Lessons learned from previous rounds to assist applicants for the 2021 round

*Applicants are strongly discouraged from proposing programs in a host location, or region within a host location, for which the Australian Government’s Smartraveller travel advice recommends ‘Do not travel’ or ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ (except where the travel advice may be short term e.g. due to an unforeseen adverse event). Applications will, therefore, be accepted for all NCP participating Indo-Pacific host locations. Travel under the 2021 NCP Scholarship program will not commence prior to 1 January 2021 – and by then it is anticipated the COVID19 outbreak would have abated and travel to NCP host locations would be restored. However, travel cannot proceed to such locations if that travel advice remains in place at the time of departure. Where the Smartraveller travel 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, DFAT will work with the scholar to identify an alternate host location if required.