Four students awarded 2021 NCP scholarships

Four ACU undergraduate students have been awarded the highly prized 2021 New Colombo Plan (NCP) scholarships by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. At the online awards ceremony on 27 November, two of our scholars were also nominated as NCP fellows for being the top-ranked applicants for their host location.

These four students represent the largest cohort of NCP scholars announced at ACU in one year.

The NCP Scholarship Program is a prestigious Australian Government initiative that provides around 120 scholarships annually for high-achieving Australian undergraduate students to study and participate in internships and mentorships, and to receive language training across the Indo-Pacific region.

Each NCP scholarship is worth up to $67,000 which covers expenses such as tuition fees, language training, a travel allowance and monthly stipends for living costs.

The ACU NCP scholars for 2021 are:

NCP scholarship recipient - Emily EriksenEmily Eriksen (Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Global Studies)

Emily is planning to study in Fiji and undertake an internship in Fiji or Cambodia. Commenting on her win, Emma says, “I hope to immerse myself within the Fijian culture and to be an active participant within the community. I would like to gain an understanding of how customary law has evolved over time and continues to influence current Fijian legal frameworks.”



NCP scholarship recipient - Sophie JonesSophie Jones (Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Arts)

Sophie is planning to study in Vanuatu and undertake internships in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. “My studies in Vanuatu will enhance my learning experience and develop my knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region,” says Sophie. “This scholarship will enable me to forge meaningful cross-institutional relationships within the region, and throughout the nations in which I intend to intern.”



NCP scholarship recipient - Sophie RowanSophie Rowan (Bachelor of Applied Public Health / Bachelor of Global Studies)

Sophie is planning to study in the Federated States of Micronesia and undertake internships in Solomon Islands and Marshall Islands. “During my time in the Federated States of Micronesia and throughout the Pacific, I am hoping to deepen my understanding of some of the region’s leading health challenges,” says Sophie. “I am particularly interested in the effects of emerging diseases like type-2 diabetes, the barriers to eliminating leprosy and tuberculosis, and the neglected burden of carcinogenic betel nut use. The NCP represents an opportunity for me to gain hands on experiences that will enhance my ability to address regional public health issues and make a positive impact on the health and lives of others.”



NCP scholarship recipient - Natalie PiersonNatalie Pierson (Bachelor of Commerce)

Natalie is planning to study and undertake internships in Bhutan. “I am passionate about diversity and am keen to immerse myself in an entirely unknown context,” says Natalie. "The opportunity to learn the language, build relationships and gain knowledge about the Indo-Pacific region will profoundly enhance my abilities to establish a lasting connection with leaders in government, business and civil society in the Indo-Pacific.”


ACU Pro Vice-Chancellor, Global and Education Pathways Chris Riley says, “The NCP scholarships provide our students with a unique opportunity to engage in a comprehensive learning abroad program in our region. They will undoubtedly come away from their experiences with a level of understanding of local issues, customs and challenges, that could not be achieved through participation in a shorter program. It is this insight and engagement that will give them an excellent platform from which to build ongoing personal and professional links with the region.

“The NCP Scholarship Program includes a tailored predeparture program and dedicated in-country support, and ultimately delivers students into an active scholar alumni community. In the tradition of other great international scholarship programs like Rhodes or Fulbright, the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program has become a highly respected and prestigious award.”

Due to current travel restrictions, all four ACU students plan to start their NCP Scholarship Program in the second half of 2021.

For the full list of 2021 NCP Scholars, please visit the New Colombo Plan webpage.

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