UQ students lengthen their strides into the Indo-Pacific

7 Sep 2016

The University of Queensland has been awarded almost $1 million in the latest round of Federal Government New Colombo Plan mobility program funding.

The new $991,000 in funding announced by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will enable 270 students to travel overseas for short-term and semester-length study, practicums and internships.

UQ will also get $277,200 in continuing funding to support 64 students for the second year of multi-year projects announced in 2016.

The New Colombo Plan is an Australian Government initiative that aims to strengthen Australia’s ties with other Indo-Pacific countries by providing opportunities to undergraduate students.

TC Beirne School of Law Deputy Head of School Professor Simon Bronitt said three New Colombo Plan projects would help law students confront issues of security, corruption and environmental sustainability throughout the Indo-Pacific.

He said previous funding had allowed student Zoe Brereton to spend a year abroad studying domestic and sexual violence as Australia’s 2015 New Colombo Plan Fellows to India.

“The opportunity for our law students to participate in short-term New Colombo Plan mobility programs serves as a pathway for future students to follow in Zoe’s footsteps, to learn more about the law and justice issues confronting the region,” Professor Bronitt said.

 “While there are many international students pursuing graduate study from Indonesia and China at our law school, there are few Australian law students who pursue academic or professional opportunities in those countries,” he said.

The program has also funded an intensive journalism course to be held in Indonesia.

School of Communication and Arts lecturer Bruce Wooley said Indonesia was the third destination for the successful course, which had previously been taught in Vietnam and India thanks to New Colombo Plan funding.

“The grants allow us to conduct overseas courses that teach our best students what it's like to be a foreign correspondent,” Mr Wooley said.

“Students who have done these intensive mobility courses in the past have higher-than-average employment rates as a result of their outstanding journalism and technical skills developed overseas.

“We couldn't mount such expensive and complex programs without this support.”

UQ students will take part in projects in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, South Korea, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

Programs include architecture, information technology, mechanical and mining engineering, environmental management, business, occupational and physiotherapies, nursing and humanities. 

Media: Dr Jessica Gallagher, UQ Global Engagement, j.gallagher@uq.edu.au, 0435 961 173; Heidi Benjaminson, h.benjaminson@uq.edu.au, +61 7 334 69924.