Foreign Minister farewells ANU students under New Colombo Plan
17 March 2014
Today, Japanese Ambassador to Australia HE Mr Yoshitaka Akimoto and I met with two Australian National University students who will soon commence study in Japan under the Australian Governments' signature foreign policy initiative, the New Colombo Plan.
More than 300 students from 24 Australian universities have been offered grants to study in the first phase of the plan in the pilot destinations of Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.
Under the pilot of the New Colombo Plan, fifteen ANU students will undertake courses in Japanese language, international relations, politics, economics and sociology in Japan.
The students I met today, Helen Trezise and Laura Ferguson, noted that the New Colombo Plan presented them with an important opportunity to enhance their study experience.
Both students will spend a semester at Japan's Akita International University, undertaking classes including Japanese language, which they are studying at ANU, as well as mentoring in the Akita prefecture.
The first recipients of the New Colombo Plan will be followed later this year by a second tranche with the announcement of 40 prestigious longer-term scholarships across the pilot locations.
The Australian Government will expand the New Colombo Plan to other nations across the Indo-Pacific region from 2015.
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