New Colombo Plan opens up opportunities for ACU students

More than 100 ACU students will get the opportunity to study across the Indo-Pacific as part of 2024 New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Program internships and exchanges.

The New Colombo Plan, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, provided $422,400 in funding for eight projects across a variety of disciplines at ACU.

It will support students to participate in internships, exchanges, and study tours in 40 countries in the region.

Dr Haydn Aarons from the National School of Arts and Humanities won a NCP Mobility grant to take Global Studies students to Tonga.

The students will work with the Director of Public Health and the Health Promotion team at Vaiola Hospital in Nuku’Alofa on various health promotion campaigns, population health research, and health related engagement with families and industry.

“Tonga is a beautiful country and has one of the leading hospitals in the Pacific region,” Dr Aarons said.

“Health promotion is currently a crucial aspect of the Tongan Ministry of Health’s public health agenda due to rising rates of non-communicable diseases and declining averages of life expectancy.

“The work that ACU students will be doing in Tonga will have enormous benefits for the population of Tonga and promises to be incredibly rewarding and satisfying.”

Dr Kristie Flannery from the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences won a grant to take ACU humanities students to the Philippines for a three-week introduction to Philippines history, culture and politics.

Students will be based at the University of the Philippines Diliman where they will learn about the historical roots and present dimensions of the pressing social, economic, political, and environmental challenges that the Philippines faces today.

“This generous scholarship from the Australian government makes the experience accessible to more students,” Dr Flannery said.

“With a population of 120 million people, the Philippines is the second-largest country in Southeast Asia. This course will provide students with an introduction to the archipelagic nation’s history and culture, deepening their understanding of the Southeast Asian region that is home to approximately one in ten humans on our planet.”

ACU Pro Vice-Chancellor Global and Education Pathways, Chris Riley said the scholarships enabled students to undertake a variety of academic experiences and studies whilst overseas.

"These are credited to their degree at ACU, often either as professional placement or as work-integrated learning,” Mr Riley said.

“As well as the activities associated with their internship, the experience of spending time in another country provides students with employability and intercultural skills that stand them in good stead in their future careers.

“The experience they gain adds quality and depth to their studies and to their overall university journey.”

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