Soft-power plusses in New Colombo Plan

The NCP has sent 40 000 Australian students to Indo-Pacific nations and the outcomes are positive all-over

Ly Tran and Huyen Bui (both Deakin U)  report on the response to the plan in host nations.

“Informed understandings of host motives, needs, and circumstances help ensure that Australian student mobility to the Indo-Pacific, supported by the NCP initiative, is not just within Australia’s self-interests but rather, serves the mutual interests of both Australia and other countries in the Indo-Pacific which have willingly hosted Australian students. The acknowledgment of and respect for mutual values of home and host communities in students’ mobility are essential foundations for building and sustaining meaningful people-to-people connections, institution-to-institution connections, country-to-country connections, and broader multilateral ties” they write.

And they identify four positives in the programme for host countries; * contributing to country-to-country connections, * fostering multiple student-to-student, university to- industry, and university-to-university connections, * enriching host communities’ training capacity * human resources and awareness of their own strengths, and * strengthening community engagement through international service-learning.

Won’t DFAT be pleased? For now, certainly, but, while the NCP acts as a bridge to future and long-term collaborations and partnerships among participating organisations, further effort may be required to build a lasting partnership.”