15 Aussie undergraduate students to study in Chinese mainland under New Colombo Plan

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/11/27 22:50:58

Fifteen Australian undergraduate students will have a chance to study and intern in Chinese mainland thanks to the Australian government's New Colombo Plan.

They are among 120 winners of the 2017 New Colombo Plan scholarship, including 15 others who are going to study in universities in China's Hong Kong.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop made the announcement of the 120-strong list Monday at the Great Hall of the Parliament House in Canberra.

China is one of the most popular destinations of the New Colombo Plan, said Bishop last Thursday at a dinner party celebrating the 45th anniversary of the founding of diplomatic relations between Australian and the People's Republic of China in 1972.

"I know that China is making leaps and bounds and leading the way in the industry of computer science. China is making emphasis on pushing on innovation, " said Conor Gould from Griffith University, who won the scholarship to study in a university in Beijing.

He hoped to find a Beijing company for internship and learn more about data science and machine-learning.

"China is an important country especially in global politics. I'm studying environment and law and China is doing some really interesting things in environment conservation. The idea is to build ecological civilization. I think it's really fascinating," said Tess Van Geelan from Queensland University of Technology, also a winner to study in China.

The 120 Australian students will study in 20 host countries and regions, including for the first time, Tonga, the Federated States of Micronesia and New Caledonia.

"The New Colombo Plan is for Australian undergraduates and strives to reflect the diversity of our nation -- students from our cities, regional and remote areas, and from a wide range of backgrounds," said Bishop at the awarding ceremony.

She also thanked the business community for its ongoing engagement, including scholarships sponsored by PwC and QBE, as well as private sector support for student internships and other work-based learning.

Minister Birmingham said the program highlighted the important contribution international exchanges made to Australia's education engagement with the region.

"Scholars build connections with their peers, get real-life work experience and boost their employability in the graduate job market."

Launched in 2014, the New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Coalition Government. By the end of 2018, more than 30,000 students will have been supported under the program.

Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC

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