Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan launches in Ho Chi Minh City

09:50 | 21/07/2015 Cooperation

(VEN) - The Australian Consulate-General hosted a reception to launch the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan in South Vietnam on the evening of 17 July.

Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan launches in Ho Chi Minh City

Australian Consul General John McAnulty took photo with New Colombo Plan Mobility Scheme students

The New Colombo Plan supports Australian university students to undertake studies or internships in Asia-Pacific countries, forging greater links between Australian and Asia-Pacific people, universities and businesses, and supporting even closer engagement between Australia and the region into the future.

In 2015 Australia is supporting around 160 students from 12 Australian universities to study and gain work experience in Vietnam, in fields as perse as teaching, business, forest management, design, agriculture, urban planning and social sciences. This will create a stronger people-to-people links between Australian and Vietnamese youth, and create opportunities for further cooperation, economic development and partnerships into the future.

Addressing the reception Australian Consul General John McAnulty said: “Under the New Colombo Plan, we want to see study in the region become a rite of passage for Australian undergraduate students. We want to foster an Australian community that understands and engages with our region better - what better way to achieve this than by investing in our young people?”

Present at the reception were two groups of New Colombo Plan Mobility Scheme students, one from the University of Adelaide, learning about environmental issues facing this region with the Mekong River Commission, and one from James Cook University, learning about sustainable, eco- and agri-tourism in the Mekong Delta, in partnership with Can Tho University. The event created a valuable opportunity for the representatives and Australian students from these universities to meet and collaborate with representatives from universities in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Australian Government has committed $100 million to the New Colombo Plan over 5 years. The program will support Australian students to generate long-term professional and personal relationships with people of the Indo-Pacific region through study and work placements as part of their undergraduate degree. It involves two main streams of grants - a prestigious scholarship program and a mobility grants scheme./.

My Phung