New Colombo Plan Scholarships

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The New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholarship Program is the most lucrative and prestigious undergraduate scholarship in the country. As a signature initiative of the Australian Government, it supports Australia's best undergraduate students to undertake a semester long international study experience and an internship/mentorship in the Indo-Pacific region.

Read an article about the 2018 Scholarship recipients here

If you would like further advice regarding the scholarship, visit the UON Global Office.

An NCP scholarship can provide Scholars with:

  • a travel allowance of $2,500
  • an establishment allowance of $2,500
  • a monthly stipend of $2,500
  • Tuition fees up to $10,000 per semester for students studying at a non partner university
  • Tuition fees up to $10,000 to cover the cost of in country language training for up to six months
  • In-country language training up to $10,000
  • health and travel insurance for the duration of the overseas Scholarship Program, including a $1000 mental health allowance
  • a dedicated case manager for the duration of the Scholarship Program who provides services including pre-departure briefings, advice on health and travel insurance, advice and assistance relating to accommodation, and payment of allowances.

Scholarship Programs can be conducted in the following 40 eligible Indo-Pacific Host Locations:

Brunei Darussalam
Cook Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
French Polynesia
Hong Kong SAR
Marshall Islands
New Caledonia
Papua New Guinea
Republic of Korea
Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka

Study Component

The study component must be full-time and face-to-face for at least one Study Period (semester) and up to one full Academic Year in duration. Scholars must receive full credit for their study program.

Scholars can receive whole or partial credit towards a concurrent diploma.

Internship/Mentorship component

Favourable consideration during the selection process will be given to those applicants proposing to undertake an Internship and/or Mentorship, before, during, or after the Study component.

Language training

All Scholars are eligible for support to undertake language training as part of their Scholarship Program. Where relevant, favourable consideration during the selection process will be given to those applicants seeking language training.

To be eligible, applicants for the NCP Scholarship must:

  • be an Australian citizen. Applicants cannot undertake the Scholarship in a Host Location in which they hold dual citizenship or permanent residency; or in which they have previously been a citizen or permanent resident.
  • be enrolled at the University of Newcastle and enrolled in units during the application process.
  • be aged between 18 and 28 years (inclusive) on 1 January 2021.
  • be undertaking a Bachelor Degree or Bachelor Honours Degree, at the commencement of the Scholarship Program
  • have achieved a minimum 70 per cent graded average or equivalent for their undergraduate course to date at the time of application.

Successful applicants are not permitted to commence another Australian Government funded off-shore Scholarship Program or mobility grant (including a NCP Mobility Program grant while undertaking the NCP Scholarship Program).

Applicants will be assessed on the following criteria, in written applications and performance at interview:

  • Grade point average achieved in tertiary studies and ungraded academic achievements including academic awards and commendations at tertiary level (40% weighting)
  • Demonstrated leadership in community, including volunteer and not-for-profit roles (30% weighting)
  • Ability to adapt and demonstrate resilience in new and challenging environments (15% weighting)
  • Ability to contribute to New Colombo Plan goals through the Scholarship Program (15% weighting)

Please fill out the following University of Newcastle Expression of Interest by Monday 22nd June 2020.

Before submitting your expression of interest, please read through the New Colombo Plan Guidelines

You will be required to provide personal information and answers to the following questions in addition to your preferred overseas study destination. (This destination is not final - If shortlisted, your preferred location will be discussed with UON Global and your Faculty)

  • Selection Criteria 1: Academic excellence at the tertiary level (25% weighting)

Assessment of this criterion will relate to a) the applicant's graded average achieved in tertiary studies, and b) to ungraded academic achievements, such as academic awards and commendations, publications, or other examples of academic excellence at the tertiary level. The applicant's communication skills, higher-order cognitive and critical thinking skills, and engagement in learning will also be assessed. High School academic achievements will not be considered.

  • Selection Criteria 2: Leadership in the community (30% weighting)

Assessment of this criterion will relate to the applicant's demonstrated leadership in the community, including volunteer and not-for-profit roles and/or activities they have undertaken in their local community, nationally, overseas and/or in their university.

  • Selection Criteria 3: Adaptability and Resilience (20% weighting)

Assessment of this criterion will relate to the applicant's potential to adapt to change, thrive in a different environment, and demonstrate resilience in the face of challenges

  • Selection Criteria 4: Ability to contribute to New Colombo Plan goals (25% weighting)

Assessment of this criterion will relate to the applicant's understanding of New Colombo Plan objectives, and how the applicant and their proposed Scholarship Program would contribute to New Colombo Plan goals.

It is advised that you draft responses to the above questions, prior to submitting your expression of interest.

Round One - UON selection process

To apply for an NCP scholarship, you must first apply to UON between Friday 10th April and Monday 22nd June 2020.

Applications will be assessed and 10 students shortlisted by a panel of UON staff. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by 30 June 2020.

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. Round Two applications close at 11.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) on 18 August 2020. UON Global 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 2020. All successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified of the outcome of the DFAT selection process in November 2020.

April 2020

Applications Open

1st June

Applications Close

1st June – 8th June

Applications assessed and students notified

13th June – 17th July

Selected students work with UON Global and Faculty to confirm location and feasibility

21st July

UON Global nominates provisional candidates to the Australian Government

22nd July to 18th August

Nominated students receive application guidance and an invitation to complete an online application form. Applicants complete their application and gather supporting documentation

18th August

Applications close at 11.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)


Applications are shortlisted and shortlisted applicants are notified

September to October

Shortlisted applicants are interviewed


Selections are finalised and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Education and Training are notified of selection outcomes. All successful and unsuccessful applicants are notified of the outcome of their application


Details of successful Scholars published on NCP website

1 January to 31 December 2021

Successful Scholars leave for their Scholarship Program

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.