Among all the demands for new ministers to change predecessor’s policy there is one Tony Abbott initiative people want to stay – the New Colombo Plan. This sends Australian students to Asia-Pacific countries for short-term study, reversing the original plan, which brought Indo-Pacific students to do degrees here. Nearly 12 000 Australians are expected to visit one or more 36 countries under the NCP.
Deakin historian David Lowe argues it is working well but would work better, if universities encouraged participants to extend their engagement with peoples from host countries. “One activity particularly suited to Australia is liaison/internship type activities with immigrant communities. DFAT can reward those universities that show clear evidence of such post-return engagement by NCP students.”
“Reward” is a word that works with university managements.