New Colombo Plan scholars forging links in Indo-Pacific

Four University of Queensland undergraduate students are set to pursue their dreams after being named as 2020 New Colombo Plan (NCP) scholars.

UQ’s William Topping, Lawrence Rivera, Anna Truffet, and Rhiannan Bartos were named as recipients of the prestigious scholarship at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Minister for Education Dan Tehan announced UQ’s four NCP scholars will immerse themselves in work and study in China, Japan, Vietnam, and Taiwan for the first time, in politics and economics, criminal justice, engineering, and arts.

Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship Director Dr Jessica Gallagher said the University was delighted these scholars would forge links with partner institutions in the Indo-Pacific.

“We are incredibly proud of our chosen scholars,” Dr Gallagher said.

“These students are building strong networks and cross-cultural affinity in our region.

“Their experience learning another language and studying in another culture will help shape them as future leaders with a global mindset.

“The students will return to UQ as advocates for global citizenship with diverse working experiences, but also as ‘must have’ employees on graduation.”

Since the NCP started in 2014, 29 UQ scholars have spent part of their academic life studying and interning across the Indo-Pacific region.

The four new scholars will complement the 544 undergraduate students who will receive NCP mobility grants to undertake short-term and semester projects in the region next year.

UQ was awarded nearly $2.1 million in October for projects in 14 countries, departing from early January 2020.

These prestigious and highly competitive scholarships support students to undertake an academic term at a university, intern and undertake language training in the Indo-Pacific for up to nineteen months.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has named 125 scholars from 37 Australian universities who will undertake scholarships in one of 40 eligible destination countries next year.

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