The Australian Government today recognised the West Australian students chosen to participate in the first stage of its $100 million New Colombo Plan.

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan was at the University of Western Australia to congratulate students selected from local universities to be part of the flagship program.

In attendance were 11 UWA students who recently returned from Singapore where they undertook an intensive media production course with industry professionals at Temasek Polytechnic.

Minister Keenan also farewelled 10 students from Curtin University who will travel to Indonesia to study and undertake work placements with leading companies in the fields of mechanical, civil, chemical, petroleum, mining, electrical communication, and computer engineering.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said more than 300 students across 24 universities had been selected as part of the first round of mobility grant funding administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

“These students exemplify what the New Colombo Plan is all about – young people travelling to the region not only to study, but to gain industry relevant experience, develop language skills and immerse themselves in another culture,” she said.

“Not only will this kind of experience expand their employment opportunities, it will also enhance institutional links between Australia and Asia.”

Minister Keenan said the pilot program provided scholarships for study and work experience in four Indo-Pacific countries - Indonesia, Japan, Singapore or Hong Kong and would be expanded to other partner countries in 2015.

“Having studied overseas as an undergraduate, I am a strong believer in the value of student exchange,” he said.

“These students will bring back new skills that will help Australia prosper over the long-term.”

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