New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program

What is the NCP Scholarship Program?

The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is a signature initiative of the Australian Government, which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the region.

The NCP Scholarship Program objectives are to: 

  • provide around 120 prestigious and highly-competitive Scholarships to a diverse range of Australian undergraduates studying a breadth of disciplines;

  • support more study experiences in a broad range of Indo-Pacific locations;

  • encourage Scholars to undertake longer term study, language study and an Internship and/or Mentorship;

  • engage Scholars, Australian Universities and other stakeholders in public diplomacy and outreach; and

  • continue to develop an active Scholar alumni community for previous Scholars to share their experiences, promote the NCP and continue to develop knowledge of and professional links with the Indo-Pacific region.

The NCP involves a prestigious scholarship program for study of up to 19 months and prioritises opportunities for Internships and Language Training in addition to study. The total cost of the NCP is $152.8 million (2018/19 - 2020/21); $51 million per annum ongoing from 2019/20. It is a fantastic opportunity for the successful scholars to take up the opportunity to study/intern overseas with generous funding and support provided by the Australian Government.

Information Sessions

Information sessions for the 2022 NCP Scholarship application round will be held on 10 May and 24 May 2021. Please refer to the Global Programs Facebook site for details of sessions. You can also view the presentation here

What can an NCP Scholarship provide?

An NCP scholarship can provide recipients with:

  • Travel allowance up to $2,500
  • Establishment allowance up to $2,500
  • Monthly stipend up to $2,500 per month
  • Tuition fees up to $15,000
  • Support for language training up to $1,000
  • Health and travel insurance for the duration of the scholar's program
  • A dedicated case manager for the duration of the scholar's program, who provides services including pre-departure briefings, advice on health and travel insurance, advice and assistance relating to accommodation, and payment of allowances

For more information on the NCP scholarship program, including Frequently Asked Questions and program guidelines, visit the DFAT website.

Why participate?

  • Enrich your education
    A New Colombo Plan scholarship is a valuable opportunity to contribute to your academic qualifications while traveling overseas. It is a chance to test your skills and gain a deeper understanding of a foreign culture and language, while gaining awareness and insight that may not otherwise be achieved in your studies at home in Australia. You may find after completing the program that you return to your studies at ANU with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.
  • Enhance your career opportunities
    International study experience within the Indo-Pacific region will add value to your academic record and CV and broaden your options for life after undergraduate study in Australia and abroad. Participation in an internship/mentorship during the program is strongly encouraged and could give you valuable work experience that may be looked upon favourably by prospective employers and graduate programs.

    Personal development
  • Participating in a New Colombo Plan scholarship could be very rewarding, character-building and eye-opening. It may help you gain independence, confidence, resourcefulness and problem-solving skills. You may also discover new interests and activities that you may not have found at home.
  • Strengthen ties within the region
    By participating in the NCP scholarship program you would be contributing to strengthening Australia's important relationships and professional networks within the Indo-Pacific region. This could help to enhance career prospects and postgraduate study options for Australian graduates.
  • Networking
    A New Colombo Plan scholarship is an opportunity to make new friends and colleagues and form networks within the Indo-Pacific region. The program is developing an active alumni community so that participants can share their experiences and ensure that connections made through the New Colombo Plan are long-lasting. The program aims to provide ongoing opportunities for New Colombo Plan alumni to engage with the region.
  • Culture and travel
    Studying overseas as part of the NCP is not just an academic opportunity but also a chance to experience first-hand the language, customs, architecture, monuments, terrain, food and music of your host country.



To be eligible to apply, the rules decided by DFAT stipulate you must be an Australian citizen, in at least your second year of undergraduate studies (Bachelor degree) when the scholarship commences, aged between 18 and 30 and have achieved a minimum 70% graded average for their undergraduate course at the time of application/nomination by ANU.

For more information on eligibility requirements, please refer to the NCP scholarship program guidelines on the DFAT website. Applicants must also be undertaking approved exchange or study abroad studies at eligible destinations during 2022 for the NCP 2022 Scholarship round.

How to apply

Applications are open once a year and students should submit their application to ANU Global Programs on the Global Program System, before the deadline of 11 June 2021.

Round One - ANU selection process

i) In order to apply for an NCP scholarship, you must submit an application to ANUNCP applications for the 2022 round will be open betwen 11 May until 11 June 2021. Applications are open for one month on the ANU Global Program System.

ii) Students must also submit an exchange application through the ANU Global Programs System or consider independant learning abroad studies at the same time as completing an NCP scholarship application. The proposed undergraduate studies must be credit bearing studies, which must be approved by the student's academic college(s).

Applications will be assessed and shortlisted by a panel of ANU staff. See the application guidelines below for information on putting together your application.

Downloadable Information session

ANU Global programs has recorded an information session about the New Colombo Plan scholarship program. To access the recording of the session, click here.

Round Two - DFAT selection process

If your Round One application is successful, you will be recommended to DFAT for consideration and you will receive application guidance. ANU Global Programs will liaise with short-listed candidates about how to best frame their applications.  The final selection process will be administered by DFAT, and shortlisted applicants will attend a face-to-face interview with a panel during September and October of the same year. All successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified of the outcome of the DFAT selection process in November. Student's proposed activities will take place in the following year.

Please note: The 2022 NCP Scholarship Guidelines were released on 16 June 2021. Updates to this webpage have been made accordingly. 

Application guidelines

  • Choose a country - Choose to study in a university in one of the participating host countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Burma, 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. ANU has partner universities in some of these countries so you may choose to study at an ANU exchange partner university from the above list, or you can create your own study plan in a non-partner university from the above list and arrange to go as an independent study abroad student.
  • Choose a program - Choose a study program (courses) at the host institution, for which you will receive academic credit from your ANU academic college. Students must seek approval from thier academic colleges for their proposed undergraduate overseas studies, that the student has room in their degree to undertake studies overseas, that can count as credit bearing studies towards thier ANU undergradaute degree. The study period must commence as per DFAT guidelines. This will be between 1 January and end of December of the following year. Please see DFAT NCP guidelines.
  • Consider language training - Students are strongly encouraged to include within thier proposal language training at the host country. It is encouraged students seek academic credit but it is not mandatory for language training.
  • Internship Component - Explore taking up an internship work experience. Look into ways to arrange an internship by reaching out to potential organisations to see what may be possible at host destination.
  • Put together your application and selection criteria
    Demonstrate how you would benefit from the NCP scholarship program, and how you would establish an internship/mentorship if you were selected for consideration for the scholarship (see DFAT NCP scholarship program guidelines).

In your application, you must address each of the following selection criteria, limiting responses to 300 words per criterion. Use the notes under each criterion as guidance for drafting your responses.

  1. Academic excellence at the tertiary level (25% weighting)
    You must have achieved a minimum 70 per cent graded average or equivalent for your undergraduate program to date. Consider detailing academic awards at tertiary level and/or university commendations. The assessment will also relate to evidence of excellence demonstrated through referee reports. 
  2. Leadership and Engagement in the community (25% weighting)
    Consider including leadership roles and/or activities in your university (for example: student residence committees, student clubs, student politics), your local community (for example: sporting, not-for-profit, religious, arts organisations), or overseas (for example: volunteering, not-for-profit work, activities you have taken within your local community, nationally, overseas and/or within ANU).
  3. Adaptabillity and Resillience (25% weighting)
    Assessment of this criterion will relate to your potential to undertake successfully, and gain maximum advantage from, a study experience in an Indo-Pacific location. Consider how your resilience, flexibility and adaptability (particularly in different cultural contexts) will be enhanced and how you will develop relationships in the Indo-Pacific region and maintain them on your return to Australia.
  4. Ability to contribute to NCP Strategic Objective and outcomes (25% weighting)
    Assessment of this criterion will relate to the depth of your understanding of New Colombo Plan Strategic Objective and outcomes, and how the Applicant and their proposed Scholarship Program would contribute to the Strategic Objective and outcomes, including on return to Australia.

NCP News & Previous Recipients

Public Diplomacy and Social Impact of Australian Student Mobility to the Indo-Pacific - Research paper by Ly Tran and Huyen Bui, Deakin University, 9 January 2021

Seven ANU students land prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarship 10 December 2020 

Scholarship winners set their sights on the Indo-Pacific 29 November 2019

ANU wins 8 New Colombo Plan Scholarships for 2019 27 November 2018

ANU wins nine New Colombo Plan 2018 scholarships 29 November 2017

ANU wins 9 New Colombo Plan 2018 scholarships 28 November 2017

ANU collects six New Colombo Plan scholarships for 2016, 1 December 2015

Video of ANU student Linda Ma, 2016 NCP Scholar for Hong Kong, 30 November 2015

Burgmann Alumnus awarded the ANU New Colombo Plan Funding, 12 December 2014

International students as foreign relations: a research agenda in the context of Colombo Plans old and new - abstract of a public lecture by Professor David Lowe, Director of the Alfred Deakin Research Institute, 28 August 2014

Rebecca wins Colombo Plan scholarship, 8 July 2014

Students win scholarships in New Colombo Plan, 26 June 2014

Learning in and from our region - speech by NCP scholarship winner Emma Roberts, 26 June 2014

Foreign Minister farewells ANU students under New Colombo Plan, 17 March 2014

New Colombo Plan news on the DFAT website

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