New Colombo Plan fosters Indo-Pacific connections
More than 130 University of Queensland students will take part in short and semester-length programs in the Indo-Pacific region next year.
In the 2016 competitive funding round of the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program, UQ received more than $470,000 for exchanges with Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Nepal, South Korea, Taiwan, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.
Associate Professor Brent Ritchie, UQ Business School’s tourism cluster leader, said the funding would enable 10 students to take part in an Asian Hospitality Management course next year at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and at Mahidol University International College in Thailand.
“Students will be exposed to teaching hotels, training restaurants and internship opportunities at partner universities, which will complement UQ’s management-orientated education,” Dr Ritchie said.
“Due to the growth of Asia’s tourism and hospitality industries and the increase in Asian visitors to Australia, it’s vital that our students have cultural awareness and knowledge of Asian hospitality and hotel management practices.
“This funding will encourage Australian tourism and hospitality students to spend time in Asia and increase their networks in the region, creating an employability advantage.”
Other UQ projects that secured funding in this round include India Reporter, an intensive journalism course giving students on-the-ground reporting experience, and the UQ Nepal Design Challenge, an engineering project delivered in partnership with Nepal Water for Health.
Engineers Without Borders Australia has offered pro bono support for the delivery of the UQ Nepal Design Challenge, which will build on work UQ engineering students completed during the 2014 Engineers Without Borders Design Challenge.
Professor Paul Lant from UQ’s School of Chemical Engineering said students would be based in the Kathmandu Valley and immersed in the local culture, helping them to better understand the context of their work.
“This program uses humanitarian design and the creation of appropriate technologies to engage with students, community workers and the technical sectors,” Professor Lant said.
Dr Jessica Gallagher, head of the UQ Global Engagement Office, said the funding would strengthen UQ’s global partnerships.
“It will enable a larger number of UQ students to gain valuable academic and professional experiences in Australia’s neighbouring countries,” Dr Gallagher said.
“UQ is committed to developing a strategic network of international partners that can support increased study and work opportunities for students.
“In the first two years of the New Colombo Plan program, UQ students have received grants for exchange and short-term programs in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
“By providing access to rewarding international mobility experiences through working with global partners, UQ aims to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes, sharpen students’ skills, make them more employable, and shape future global leaders.”