Scholarship FAQ - 2014 pilot phase

1. Who is eligible for a scholarship under the NCP Pilot Program?

New Colombo Plan Scholarships (pilot program) provide opportunities for Australian undergraduates to undertake study and an internship/mentorship in one of four eligible pilot destinations: Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. At the commencement of their scholarship, scholars must be in at least the second year of their degree; be between 18 and 28 years of age; and undertaking a Bachelor’s degree level program (Pass or Honours).

Scholars must undertake a study program for which they will receive credit at their home university. The study component of the scholarship is mandatory and must be for at least one semester, but may be up to two semesters (a full academic year) in duration. For information on the status of a proposed study program, applicants should seek advice in the first instance from their nominated course convenor or from the New Colombo Plan Liaison Officer or international office in their university. Further information is available in the NCP Scholarship Guidelines.

2. What can I study as part of my scholarship program?

There are no limitations on the type of study a scholar may take as part of their award, as long as they are eligible to receive credit as part of their undergraduate degree at their Australian university.

3. What support is available to NCP scholars for foreign language tuition?

All Scholars are eligible for support to undertake intensive language training as part of their scholarship. The training must be in a language that is applicable to the destination in which the Scholar is completing their program, and be undertaken in-country.

4. When does the New Colombo Plan Scholarships Program open for applications?

Australian universities will be requested to conduct an internal selection process and nominate students for the program in February 2014.

Nominees’ complete applications, including referee reports and supporting documentation, must be submitted by 11.59pm AEDT on 28 March 2014.

5. What is the application process? Updated 10 February 2014

For the pilot phase of the New Colombo Plan students must be nominated by their Australian university. Universities have been asked to conduct an internal nomination process to select five nominees. It is recommended that eligible Australian undergraduates who are interested in applying for a New Colombo Plan scholarship, and feel they have strong claims against the selection criteria, contact the NCP Liaison Officer or the international office in their university. More information on the application process and deadlines is included in the Scholarship Program Guidelines.

6. How will scholarship applications be assessed?

Scholarship applicants will be assessed and ranked against the selection criteria set out in the Scholarship Program Guidelines (pilot program). Initial short-listing will be undertaken by a panel comprising representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Education. All shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by an interview panel comprised of government officials, academics and members of the business community, as set out in the Scholarship Program Guidelines (pilot).

7. When can I commence my New Colombo Plan Scholarship?

Successful applicants must commence their study program between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015.

8. How many NCP scholarships will be offered and what academic results will the panel be looking for?

Approximately 40 scholarships will be awarded in the pilot round of the New Colombo Plan. It is suggested in the program guidelines that a suitable candidate should have at least a 70 per cent graded average or equivalent for their undergraduate course to date.

9. Are previous recipients of the Prime Minister's Australia Asia Endeavour Award still eligible for a NCP scholarship?

The program guidelines do not preclude a previous Prime Minister's Australia Asia Endeavour Award recipient from also receiving a NCP scholarship. It is recommended that contact should be made with the universities NCP Liaison Officer, or their international office, to clarify the selection process and individual eligibility requirements.

10. Can I apply for a NCP Scholarships if I have already commenced by study in the host country or plan to commence this study prior to 1 July 2014? Updated 10 February 2014

Successful applicants must commence their study program between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015. Applicants who have already commenced or will commence their program prior to 1 July 2014 are ineligible to apply.

11. I have completed a calendar year of study but am not yet in the second year of my academic program. Am I eligible for a NCP scholarship?

To be eligible for the New Colombo Plan students must have completed one full-year of their academic program.

12. Am I eligible for a NCP scholarship if I am part way through a degree but not currently enrolled in a course of study? Updated 27 March 2014

To be eligible to apply for an NCP scholarship the applicant must be enrolled in an undergraduate course of study with an Australian university at the commencement of the scholarship. Pass degree-level applicants must be in at least the second year of their program at the commencement of the scholarship.

13. Am I eligible for a NCP scholarship if I am studying part time? Added 10 February 2014

Students who are studying part time in Australia are eligible to apply for a NCP scholarship, as long as they have completed one full academic year of study and are in accordance with other NCP eligibility requirements. NCP scholars must however undertake a full time study program while overseas.

14. Can I receive a NCP scholarship if I plan to study with a college, university college, or a third party provider? Added 10 February 2014

The NCP scholarship program has no restrictions on the type of organisations and institutions an Australian university may partner with however scholars must undertake a study program for which they will receive credit at their home university. In addition, study options may not be undertaken at an offshore campus of an Australian university in the host destination.

15. Can New Colombo Plan Scholars study at two institutions in the same pilot destination?Added 19 March 2014

Yes, provided that:

  • all New Colombo Plan Scholarship eligibility and process requirements are met for study at both institutions (evidence of host affiliation etc)
  • scholars receive academic credit at their home university for study undertaken at both host institutions.

The scholarship benefit limits set out in the Scholarship Program Guidelines will not be impacted by multi-institution study i.e. scholars who meet the above criteria will receive the monthly stipend over the agreed period of their study, and other benefits will be provided once only.

16. Am I eligible for NCP funding support for study past the 30 June 2015? Added 10 February 2014

Successful applicants can commence their program any time between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015. Scholars will then be funded for the entire length of their program including up to two semesters of study and optional components such as an internship/mentorship (up to 6 months), or intensive Asian language training (up to 1 month). However, funding will not exceed the total amount offered for various scholarship benefits (see the Scholarships Program Guidelines section 3).

17. Am I eligible for the NCP scholarship program if I am an Australian citizen but have permanent residency in another country?

Applicants with dual citizenship or Australian citizenship and permanent residency in another country are eligible under the New Colombo Plan, however, they must undertake their scholarship or mobility program in a third destination, of which they are not a citizen or permanent resident.

18. If I undertake a Study Abroad program, I will no longer be enrolled at my home institution while overseas. Am I still eligible for an NCP Scholarship? Added 21 February 2014

For the purposes of the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program, a successful applicant who takes a leave of absence to undertake their approved study abroad and internship program, for which they will receive credit at their home university, will be considered to have met the enrolment requirements throughout their scholarship.

19. What evidence of affiliation with the host university do I need to provide as part of my application? Added 21 February 2014

The purpose of the affiliation request is for applicants to demonstrate that they have considered a program and institution with which they would like to study in one of the pilot destinations, should they be successful in obtaining an NCP scholarship, and that they have begun the process of determining their eligibility with that proposed host institution.

For example, the evidence could be an email from the applicant or the applicant’s Australian university to the proposed host institution indicating the student is in the process of applying for an NCP scholarship and, if successful, they would be seeking to enroll and undertake a study program with that proposed host institution.

20. Am I eligible for a NCP scholarship if I am enrolled in a graduate-entry Bachelor degree program? Added 21 February 2014

For the purposes of the NCP pilot phase, graduate-entry Bachelor degree programs are classified as ‘undergraduate’ (i.e. MBBS) and students undertaking these programs are eligible for NCP scholarships. Students undertaking Postgraduate degree programs (such as MD, JD or similar programs) are not eligible for NCP scholarships.

21. Will a New Colombo Plan Scholar be required to pay fees to their host/home university? Added 21 February 2014

The NCP scholarship includes international tuition/university fees, if applicable, and to a maximum of AU$15,000 for two semesters of study. If the study abroad is under the auspices of an exchange program and the host university does not charge tuition fees, the allocation will not be provided to the scholarship holder. The scholarship holder may not use their international tuition/university fees allocation to pay for fees charged by their home university. That is, a scholar may still be liable for HECS-HELP if on exchange.

22. How will Australian Government representatives assist New Colombo Plan students overseas?19 March 2014

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can provide consular services to Australian students when they are overseas, in the same way it does for other Australians overseas. The Consular Services Charter sets out the standards of service all Australians can expect to receive from consular staff, including what they can and cannot do.

Students should check the Smartraveller website http://smartraveller.gov.au/ operated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for information about risks overseas and how they can better prepare for overseas travel, register their travel and subscribe to the relevant travel advisory.

Last Updated: 24 April 2015