Abbott launches New Colombo Plan for students of India, Australia

The new plan is aimed to enhance student exchange between the two countries

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:05 pm IST

Published - September 04, 2014 02:29 pm IST - MUMBAI:

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the first day of his visit to India launched his government’s New Colombo Plan, to enhance student exchange and collaboration between the universities of two countries, at the Mumbai University on Thursday.

Around 14 Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) were signed between the Universities across India and Australia. The New Colombo Plan involves a scholarship programme for study of up to one year and internships or mentorships, and a flexible mobility grants programme for short and long – term study. It mainly aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study here. The plan will be implemented from the next academic year.  

“Both the countries have so much to learn from each other and I am sure that we will shine bright all along the world because of such programmes,” said Mr. Abbott, while addressing the programme. He said that the number of Australian students coming to India will increase in coming years after the launch of this plan.

A number of universities including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Caluctta, JNU and IIT Madras signed the MoUs with their Australian counterparts such as Deakin University, Swinburne University of Technology, and Universities of Queensland, Melbourne to name the few.

While the Australian government will bear half of the funding for this programme, the University Grants Commission (UGC) will pay the rest. “We are targeting a two-way traffic from this plan. Apart from student exchange, we are also looking forward to develop a sustained programme which will continue the exchange of students,” said H. Devraj, vice-chairman, UGC.

>At present more than 40,000 Indian students are studying in Australia . “In comparison, very few Australian students opt India for studies. We are expecting to change this scenario with this program,” said Arun Sharma, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Queensland University of Technology. 

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