2015 New Colombo Plan to further strengthen Australia-Philippines Education links
15 September 2014
Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell was joined by representatives from leading Philippine universities and the Commission on Higher Education at an information session at the Australian Embassy on 10 September to discuss the New Colombo Plan, a flagship initiative of the Australian Government.
Following the recent announcement by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that the New Colombo Plan will be rolled out to over 35 countries in the region in 2015, including the Philippines, Australia’s best and brightest undergraduate students are being encouraged to study and undertake internships right across the Indo-Pacific region.
Ambassador Tweddell said ‘I am looking forward to seeing more Australian students studying in the Philippines.’
The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government aimed at fostering closer ties between Australia and its Indo-Pacific neighbours. It aims to enhance knowledge of the region in Australia, and strengthen people-to-people and institutional relationships through study and internships undertaken by Australian undergraduate students.
Ambassador Tweddell said that ‘Australia and the Philippines are long- term partners in education and the 2015 New Colombo Plan is set to mark another milestone in our vibrant and enduring partnership with the Philippines.’
The Philippines and Australia were both beneficiaries of the historic scholarship scheme administered by the Australian Government’s original Colombo Plan, which saw over 20,000 talented young students from around the region study in Australia from the 1950s to the mid-1980s.
Many of these students have since gone on to become leaders in their field, including scholars from the Philippines. Accomplished Filipino Colombo Plan scholars include former Department of Education Secretary Fe Hidalgo; Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Rafael Seguis; University of the Philippines-Visayas’ first Chancellor Dionisia Rola; and University of the Philippines-School of Urban and Regional Planning pioneer Roque Magno.