New Colombo Plan grants continue to broaden student horizons

Murdoch forensics students recently visited UKM Malaysia, an initiative funded by the Federal Government’s New Colombo Plan.

More Murdoch students will have the opportunity to study in the Indo-Pacific next year with the University being allocated nearly $560,000 in funding, under the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan Mobility program.

The New Colombo Plan is an initiative that aims to increase Australians’ knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

Funding is offered for programs of study of up to one year and includes a ‘flexible mobility grants program’ for both short and longer-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research.

Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Professor Eeva Leinonen said students were strongly encouraged to apply to participate in the New Colombo Plan activities scheduled for 2019.

“Each of Murdoch University’s New Colombo Plan projects will allow students to explore the cultural, economic, social and environmental aspects of these destinations, as their pertain to their particular courses of study,” Professor Leinonen said.

As the result of this near $560k allocated to Murdoch University - 137 students from multiple disciplines will be able to participate in 12 mobility projects to locations including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Singapore Vietnam, and Thailand.

In addition, Murdoch has formed consortia with other Australian Universities, receiving additional NCP funding for three joint programs – which includes mixed field programs to India and Indonesia; and a multi-year program for Society and Culture students to visit Indonesia.

One particular New Colombo Plan activity will include the “CSI Singapore: Crime Scene Investigation and Science Education” program - a collaboration between Murdoch University and the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum in Singapore, led by Forensics Lecturer Dr Paola Magni.

Dr Magni said Murdoch forensic students would be hosted next year at the National University of Singapore (NUS) where they would design displays and create interactive activities on how ‘nature’s clues’ can be used to solve crimes.

“The New Colombo Plan provides a unique opportunity for our forensic students to improve their science communication skills and apply their knowledge and creativity for the purposes of scientific education, while working within a multicultural environment,” Dr Magni said.

“Participating students will gain a broader understanding of the Singapore environment as a microcosm of Asia, with its multiple ethnic and cultural groups and laws, which will make them better prepared in science communication to possibly work in the Indo-Pacific region as teachers, forensic instructors, researchers or museum curators.”

Other activities as part of the New Colombo Plan will include exchange programs to Japan for 22 of Murdoch’s Society & Culture students; and visits to Thailand for 20 students each from the Schools of Education and Health Sciences.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop acknowledged Murdoch University for its ongoing support of the New Colombo Plan, the Australian Government’s signature program providing opportunities for students to live, study and work in the Indo-Pacific.

“Under the New Colombo Plan, Australian Universities are building new partnerships with overseas universities, businesses and other entities to give Australian students a productive overseas educational experience while deepening Australia’s engagement in the region,” Ms Bishop said.

Posted on:

3 Aug 2018

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