New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

The Australian Government's New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholarship Program supports high-achieving Australian undergraduate students to study and work in the Indo-Pacific region.

To apply for a New Colombo Plan Scholarship, you must first be nominated by UQ. ​ 
Expressions of interest for 2021 are open until 26 June 2020.

Submit an expression of interest

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Scholars answer your questions

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The Scholarship will provide:

  • a travel allowance of $2500
  • an establishment allowance of $2500
  • a monthly stipend of $2500
  • a mental health allowance of $1000
  • health and travel insurance for the duration of the overseas Scholarship Program
  • a dedicated case manager for the duration of the Scholarship Program 
  • payment of in-country language training fees up to $1500 
  • if you study as a fee-paying international student (rather than at an institution where an official exchange agreement with UQ is in place) the Scholarship will provide payment of up to one academic year’s international tuition fees to a maximum of $20,000 ($10,000 per semester based or $6666 per trimester-based Study Period); payable directly to the host institution (includes student service and amenities fees)
  • New Colombo Plan Fellows (the top-ranked Scholar in each location and top-ranked Indigenous Scholar) will be awarded $1000 to purchase study or learning materials for use during their Scholarship Program.


Applicants must:

  • be an Australian citizen. Applicants can not undertake their Scholarship in a Host Location in which they have dual citizenship or residency rights; or in which they have previously been a citizen or permanent resident
  • be enrolled in an on-shore campus of an Australian University at the time of application
  • be aged between 18 and 30 years (inclusive) for non-Indigenous Applicants and between 18 and 35 years (inclusive) for Indigenous Applicants on 1 January 2021
  • be undertaking a Bachelor Degree or Bachelor Honours Degree, when the Scholarship Program commences
  • have achieved a minimum 70 per cent graded average or equivalent for their undergraduate course at the time of application
  • not be undertaking another Australian Government-funded off-shore scholarship or mobility grant (including New Colombo Plan Mobility Program grant) while undertaking the Scholarship Program
  • not be a previous recipient of a New Colombo Plan Scholarship (may have received a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant)
  • commence their Scholarship program between 1 January 2021 and 15 December 2021. Applicants who have already commenced or will commence a study abroad or exchange program overseas prior to 1 January 2020 are not eligible to apply for a Scholarship to continue that study.

As students are required to provide their grade point average and demonstrate academic achievement at the tertiary level, applicants should have studied at an Australian higher education provider for at least one year before applying.

Application assistance

Before submitting your expression of interest, please contact the Global Experiences Team and your Faculty to ensure you have room in your program to study overseas for a semester and receive credit towards your UQ program.

For advice about reflecting on your experiences to effectively answer the questions in the expression of interest, we recommend seeing the Careers Service within the Student Employability Centre or viewing the free self-paced course EMPLOY101x, developed by UQ and delivered through the online edX platform.

How to apply

  1. Complete UQ’s Expression of Interest by 26 June 2020
  2. Be chosen as one of UQ’s 10 nominees
  3. Apply to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

For application assistance, please contact Global Engagement by email or on (07) 3346 9924.


You may apply to undertake the program in the following locations.

Flag of Bangladesh


Flag of Bhutan


Flag of Brunei

Brunei Darussalam

Flag of Cambodia


Flag of China


Flag of Cook Islands

Cook Islands

Flag of FSM

Micronesia, Federated States

Flags of French Polynesia

French Polynesia

Flag of Fiji


Flag of Hong Kong

Hong Kong (SAR)

Flag of India


Flag of Indonesia


Flag of Japan


Flag of Kiribati


Flag of Laos


Flag of Malaysia


Flag of the Maldives


Flag of Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands

Flag of Mongolia


Flag of Myanmar


Flag of Nauru


Flag of Nepal    



Flag of New Caledonia

New Caledonia

Flag of Niue


Flag of Pakistan


Flag of Palau


Flag of Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

Flag of The Philippines

The Philippines

Flag of South Korea

South Korea (ROK)

Flag of Samoa


Flag of Singapore    



Flag of Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands

Flag of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Taiwan (ROC)

Flag of Thailand


Flag of Timor Leste


Flag of Tonga


Flag of Tuvalu


Flag of Vanuatu


Flag of Vietnam


Anticipated timeline

Date Activity
26 June 2020 Deadline to submit an expression of interest to UQ
2 & 3 July 2020 Shortlisting interviews held at UQ
22 July 2020 Students nominated by UQ
22 July – 18 August 2020 Nominated students submit an online application to the Australian Government
August and September 2020 Students shortlisted by the Australian Government
September – October 2020 Interviews held in Canberra with Australian Government and country representatives
November 2020 Successful and unsuccessful applicants notified