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Students the winners as New Colombo Plan launched in India

Australian undergraduates will now have the opportunity to study and undertake internships in one of Australia's largest trading partners following the official launch today of the New Colombo Plan in India by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

India is one of over 35 countries that - from 2015 - will be part of the Government's ambitious plan to strengthen Australia's relationship with its Indo-Pacific neighbours.

"Students will now have the opportunity to have an unforgettable study and work experience in a country that is not only a major emerging national economy, but a strong and close trading partner of Australia," said Belinda Robinson, Chief Executive of Universities Australia.

Ms Robinson said that a jump in the number of formal linkage agreements between Australian and Indian universities means that there has never been a better time to study in a country that is one of the most populous in the world.

"A recent survey by Universities Australia shows that there have been 100 new formal international linkage agreements signed between Australian and Indian institutions since 2012, bringing the number of formal agreements to 276," Ms Robinson said.

"This 57 per cent increase in the number of Australian-Indian university partnerships is not only good news for prospective New Colombo Plan scholars, but for wider relations between our two countries."

Ms Robinson said that Australian universities were delighted to get behind the New Colombo Plan, seeing it as an exciting opportunity not just for individual students, but for Australia.

"The cultural, academic, business and diplomatic links that the New Colombo Plan will build between Australia and over 35 countries in our region will only serve to strengthen Australia's competitiveness and future prosperity," Ms Robinson said.

India is already Australia's second largest source of international students with more than 30,000 Indians granted visas to study in Australia in 2013-14.

Universities Australia is partnering with the Government on the World Class promotional program, given our shared desire to have Australian university students see overseas study as a normal part of the of undergraduate experience.

Universities Australia Media Contacts

Louise Dodson
02 6285 8133
Mob:  0400 166 691

Patrick Pantano
Ph: 02 6285 8123 

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