In one of the winning projects, 12 students will work in inter-disciplinary teams across education, nursing and social work to support the development of children in Nepal – providing an opportunity for students to consider not only the impact of their field, but how a variety of disciplines work holistically together to improve the wellbeing of children and families.
Another project will see creative arts students hosted on Japan’s Okiwana Island, working alongside local university students to develop artworks for a local gallery exhibition while building Flinders’ connections with this fellow Pacific culture. Students from the Okinawa Prefectural University for Arts will then be invited to exhibit with the Flinders students in Adelaide.
A total of 50 students will immerse themselves in Indonesian culture and professions over several weeks in another opportunity, as they develop a deep in-country and cultural understanding – including of Indonesian electoral processes following the 2019 election.
The Australian Government confirmed on 6 July 2018 that Flinders University would receive $827,200 in funding to support 248 students in 14 mobility projects across the Indo-Pacific region during 2019 and early 2020.
Sebastian Raneskold, Flinders University Vice-President and Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), says living and studying overseas presents students with a valuable opportunity to participate in cultures different to their own, providing a unique environment to develop diverse cross-cultural skills.
“The continued funding success in NCP speaks of Flinders’ international mindedness, that our staff and students understand the value of international experiences and embrace this opportunity to get out into the world and strengthen their global understanding through study,” Mr Raneskold says.
“With funding from previous rounds included, Flinders will have access to over $1,400,000 in funding to support almost 400 students through New Colombo Plan grants over 2019-20.”
This grant funding contributes significantly to the many international opportunities available to Flinders students, including the recently announced Nicolas Baudin ‘Internships in France’ scholarships.
The New Colombo Plan is an initiative of the Australian Government to deepen Australia’s knowledge of the Indo-Pacific and strengthen partnerships with the region through study and internship/mentorship undertaken by grant recipients.
Subsidies are awarded to Australian undergraduate students of between $1000 and $3000 for short-term projects and $5000 and $7000 for semester length projects – with a fifth of the grant recipients also receiving language-training grants, which are a new government initiative introduced this year.
Flinders projects covered by this latest round cover a diverse range of topics including ecotourism, culture preservation, science and technology innovation, health and wellbeing, creative arts, nutrition and environmental conservation; each involving collaborations with one or several international partners.
Participating students will study overseas in Mongolia, China, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Fiji, Malaysia, Palau and Japan.