Record number of UQ students prepare for Indo-Pacific experiences

25 Aug 2017

More than 400 University of Queensland students will have the valuable opportunity to travel to the Indo-Pacific region to gain practical experience next year under the New Colombo Plan Mobility program.

UQ has been awarded a total of $1.7 million in the latest round of funding announced by Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham, with $1.36 million enabling 326 students to travel overseas for short-term and semester-long study and work experience.

A further 87 students will travel aboard as a result of $349,500 in continued funding for projects announced in 2015 and 2016.

The New Colombo Plan aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) Professor Iain Watson said the funding strengthened UQ’s commitment to supporting students to build meaningful networks and gain cross-cultural leadership and team work skills.

“International experiences transform students, providing them with the skills to address complex issues with a global perspective,” Professor Watson said.

One project funded by the program will see 20 UQ nursing and midwifery students work alongside social work students in India with local non-government and community-based organisations to promote health and wellbeing in the city of Bengaluru and the rural Tamil Nadu region.

UQ School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Associate Professor Christine Brown Wilson said the international experience would give students an in-depth understanding of global healthcare.

“As part of the placement, students will be immersed in the culture of rural and urban India as they work alongside practitioners in low-resource settings and experience their daily lives,” Dr Brown Wilson said.

“They’ll build clinical and practice-based skills that can be applied in Australia, while gaining an insight into social and global issues such as poverty, public health and environmental challenges.”

UQ students will take part in projects in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Caledonia, Samoa, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu and Vietnam.

Projects cover a broad cross-section of disciplines including architecture, journalism, engineering, entrepreneurship, environmental management, French language, law, occupational and physiotherapy, and speech pathology.

Media: Melanie Martin, UQ Global Engagement, 07 3346 0665,