Giving a fillip to Indian and Australian higher education, the two countries have recently announced a series of pacts that will help students from both countries. In one of the major announcements, Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop witnessed the signing of a letter of intent between Melbourne University and St Stephen’s College, Delhi University. The agreement aims to establish a framework for scientific and education cooperation, especially under the New Colombo Plan.
The New Colombo Plan Scholarship programme provides opportunities for Australian undergraduates to undertake semester-based study and internships or mentorships in participating Indo-Pacific locations. Around 100 New Colombo Plan scholarships will be awarded for the academic year beginning 2016.
The programme is open to Australian undergraduates currently studying at Australian universities. The plan is designed to bring more Australian students to India and other countries in Asia by supporting study and internships for Australian undergraduate students in the region.
Addressing students and teachers at the college, Bishop said over 3,000 Australian students are looking at the Indo-Pacific region for higher studies. Recalling her college days and how she took up a career in politics while addressing students and teachers at the college, Bishop said: “After studying law and practising it for years I decided to take a sabbatical. I went to Harvard Business School to pursue a business degree. That’s when I realised that I wanted to become a politician and that transformed my life.”
The foreign minister said that the two countries can do a lot together to boost higher education opportunities for students from both countries as “they have a lot in common.” “Given that we share so much in common, we are natural partners in common interests that converge,” said Bishop in her opening remarks.
India was among the most popular destinations for Australian students in 2015 and around 330 students are expected to study in India over the coming year. The Australian Government has committed AUD 100 million over five years to support the initiative Asia-wide.
Indian students can also benefit from the Endeavour Scholarships announced by the Australian Government, which are currently open. The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships provide significant support for the top students and faculty around the world to use Australia’s world-class research infrastructure, undertake professional development and collaborate with leading academics in their field. For details visit here