Enabling students' aspirations

Friday, 8 September 2017


The UON Global Office announced last month that UON has been awarded $1,620,300 in new funding as part of the 2018 New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Program.  Thanks to the devoted support of academic and professional staff, UON has been successful in achieving a remarkable 190% increase in new funding compared to 2017.

students in group discussion

Under the program, the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade supports global student mobility projects across the Indo-Pacific region. The new funding will support 461 students to participate in 31 mobility projects across 17 countries in the Indo-Pacific region in 2018.

A total of seven projects were awarded multi-year funding, in addition to nine ongoing multi-year projects awarded to the University over the previous two years, which will allow our students to experience exciting and enriching international study experiences for years to come.

Since its inception in 2014, the NCP Mobility projects have offered UON students the opportunity to embark on a fantastic range of global experiences across many disciplines. Some recent examples include:

  • Speech Pathology students from the Faculty of Education and Arts who participated in a 5 week clinical placement in Vietnam.
  • Nursing and Midwifery students from the Faculty of Health and Medicine immersed into a 2 week cultural study tour to visit hospitals, a rehabilitation centre and community program for the elderly in Thailand.
  • Students from the Faculty of Business and Law engaged with an 11 day service-learning program in Fiji to develop a tourism business.

Undergraduate Jessika Holgate who is studying a combined degree of Law and Business majoring in International Business, was awarded one of the Mobility Grants to participate in the Fiji service-learning program in July this year. Jessika said the Mobility Grant made it possible for her to be part of ‘this international experience that was invaluable as a life experience’ and enabled her to apply learned business strategies and models as part of her studies and ‘enhance this knowledge through first-hand experience in business within the Fijian context’. Jessika added:

As my first international adventure, my experience in Fiji expanded my horizons, challenged my perspective and taught me about myself. I left Fiji with new knowledge, new memories, new friends and a new perspective.

UON undergraduate, Alissa Lucas, received a scholarship under the New Colombo Plan for an exchange/internship to study in Hong Kong from January to July last year as part of her combined law/commerce degree. Alissa describes her overseas study experience:

‘Having a connection to, or experience in, the Asia Pacific region is becoming increasingly important to Australian graduates, employees and the Australian economy. Making the decision to do a semester exchange and internship in Hong Kong was a sliding doors moment for me.

The experience provided me with an unparalleled opportunity to learn more about the world, myself, the direction I want steer my career in and the values I want to uphold. I now have friends in most continents and a deeper contextual understanding of the disciplines I study, namely how Australia fits into the global legal and commercial environment. Making the decision to study in Asia has been a sliding doors situation for me that has opened more doors than I could have ever imagined!’

The vast increase in funding awarded for 2018 and beyond will present a large number of students studying across all faculties with life-changing experiences in the Indo-Pacific region as part of their study at UON. State-of-the-art mobility projects awarded funding include:

  • an intensive business project with high-esteemed industry visits in Singapore
  • a field trip to study vital anti-infective agents for ongoing life-saving treatment of infectious disease in Papua New Guinea
  • an exclusive legal study internship with government in the Cook Islands
  • a 2 week study tour for nursing students to learn about the latest aged care practices in Hong Kong.

Due to the generous financial support that the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program offers, UON will continue to grow its offering of innovative and highly valued global experiences that see our students embark on once-in-a-life-time journeys, opening their minds to new cultures, values and ideologies, and expanding their learning through real-life examples and opportunities: preparing and educating future graduates who make a difference.

About the New Columbo Plan Mobility Program

Under the program, Australian Government funding is awarded through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to projects, submitted by academic staff, that capture the spirit and mission of the NCP to enable study in the Indo-Pacific as a rite of passage for Australian undergraduate students and to increase the number of work-ready Australian graduates with regional experience. The program further aims to deepen Australia’s people-to-people and institutional relationships with the region through the engagement of students, universities, businesses and other stakeholders.