Entrepreneurial spirit encouraged by record UQ New Colombo Plan funding

Nearly $2.1 million in funding will go towards helping more than 500 University of Queensland undergraduate students study overseas and realise their ambitions.

UQ has received its highest grant allocation in the latest round of the New Colombo Plan since the mobility plan started in 2014.

The Federal Government has announced that the 2020 Mobility round will support projects totalling around $26 million.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the funding would support passionate students to study, intern and improve their foreign language skills throughout the Indo-Pacific.

“The program gives our students an opportunity to leverage the University’s partnerships and reputation to forge global pathways,” Professor Høj said.

“They’ll be able to develop networks and skills that will give them a competitive advantage when they graduate.”

A total of 28 UQ projects have been selected for the 2020 round, spanning diverse destinations and disciplines such as French language in New Caledonia, architecture in Japan, and nursing in India.

Entrepreneurship is among the standout themes for the latest round – with 120 students receiving nearly $400,000 worth of grants to spend a month interning at startups in Asia through the UQ Startup Adventures mobility program.

“By embedding our students in global startup ecosystems, we are preparing them to be adaptable for a disruptive future,” Professor Høj said.

“During Startup Adventures, our students learn how to navigate and thrive in working environments that are being revolutionised by technological progress, and to meet the growing demand for entrepreneurial mindsets and transferable skill sets.”

The New Colombo Plan grants, announced by Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and Minister for Education Dan Tehan, range from $2600 to $7000, and fund projects between two weeks and two semesters in duration.

By 2020, about 40,000 young Australians will have spent time in the Indo-Pacific with support from the New Colombo Plan, including 1500 UQ students.

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