Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, and Australian Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, have announced that 82 Australian University students will come to Solomon Islands in 2017 under Australia’s prestigious New Colombo Plan.
Minister Bishop said the New Colombo Plan was designed to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting Australian undergraduate students to live, study and undertake internships in the region.
"The New Colombo Plan has proven to be transformative, providing life changing opportunities for Australia’s future leaders, with many participants reporting that the New Colombo Plan has given their academic and career aspirations a greater regional focus," Minister Bishop said.
Students from Bond University, Australian Catholic University, James Cook University, Griffith University and Victoria University will come to Solomon Islands throughout 2017 to undertake short projects and study tours in medicine, pharmacy, sports, education and youth development. The students will continue partnerships with organisations across Solomon Islands, including in Makira, Malaita, Central Province and Guadalcanal.
Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands Andrew Byrne was pleased to see so many Australian Universities taking a keen interest in building partnerships with Solomon Islands. "Through these students, a new generation of Australians will gain an in-depth knowledge of countries in our region, such as Solomon Islands." High Commissioner Byrne said.
"Every year Australia supports a large cohort of Solomon Islanders to travel to Australia for study under the Australia Awards Scholarships program. It’s great to see so many Australian Universities taking the next step and sending Australian students here to Solomon Islands as well."
"Supporting such talented young people from both Solomon Islands and Australia to learn more about each of our countries, and to develop long term friendships and connections at this early stage of their professional education, is a great way to ensure we continue the very good relationship our countries currently enjoy."
The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the region.
For more information on the New Colombo Plan, visit www.dfat.gov.au/new-colombo-plan/business or follow @NewColomboPlan on Twitter.