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Program celebrated for helping thousands of students study abroad

Media release

Curtin University has recognised the incredible opportunity afforded to thousands of Australian university students to study across the Indo-Pacific region as part of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan.

A special celebration, attended by former Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Julie Bishop, as well as current and former New Colombo Plan students, was held at the John Curtin Gallery, located at Curtin’s main Perth Campus, yesterday.

Curtin Bachelor of Science and Arts student Jesse Tucek, aged 21, who was awarded a New Colombo Plan scholarship in 2016 and is now an alumni ambassador for other students, shared his experiences of studying at Wakayama University and Shinshu University in Japan at the event.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said Ms Bishop’s contribution to the program had ensured its success and supported the development of thousands of students.

“The New Colombo Plan was introduced by Ms Bishop as Foreign Minister in 2014 and is a signature initiative of the Australian Government, which provides young Australians with an opportunity to live and study across the Indo-Pacific, and has had a significant impact on hundreds of Curtin students,” Professor Terry said.

“Under the leadership of Ms Bishop, the New Colombo Plan has enabled more than 450 Curtin students to study abroad with more than 40,000 students from across Australia expected to have taken part in the program by 2020. This ceremony celebrates Ms Bishop’s significant contribution and recognises the considerable achievements of the program’s more than 450 Curtin student participants.”

Ms Bishop said the New Colombo Plan was an initiative the Australian Government introduced to engage our best and brightest young Australians in the Indo-Pacific.

“Our people are our greatest asset and I am delighted that undergraduates from Curtin University have been able to live, study and work in our region,” Ms Bishop said.

“Not only do they add to our productivity and prosperity, but also our country benefits from having young ambassadors return with an understanding and insight into our neighbourhood.”

Mr Tucek, who is majoring in chemistry and Japanese, also completed a bioorganic chemistry research internship at a laboratory at The University of Tokyo as part of the New Colombo Plan.

The New Colombo Plan awards scholarships to Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internships or mentorships for up to 19 months in the Indo-Pacific region, and offers a flexible mobility grants program for both short-term and semester-length study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research.

For more information about the New Colombo Plan, visit here.