Strengthening ASEAN-Australia Education Exchange

Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 12:45

Today at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, the Australian Government announced four new initiatives that strengthen Australia’s engagement with ASEAN through our exchange of people, cultures and ideas.

Announced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Julie Bishop MP, and Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, the four initiatives build on Australia’s strong reputation for high quality education.

The New Colombo Plan ASEAN Fellow initiative continues to build knowledge of the ASEAN region in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake work-based experiences in the region. Each year, a New Colombo Plan ASEAN Fellow will study and undertake an internship in an ASEAN country on a topic aligned with ASEAN priorities.

The Australia Awards ASEAN scholarships deliver masters-level degrees to 50 candidates from ASEAN countries in 2019.  This study will build the skills of the next generation of leaders to contribute to the security and prosperity of the region while enhancing cooperation and partnership between Australia and ASEAN.

The ASEAN-Australia Infrastructure Skills Dialogue will bring together ASEAN and Australian industry, government, and vocational education and training representatives, to discuss skills challenges facing the region and best practice in engaging industry in skills development.

Australia now is a public diplomacy program that celebrates Australia in an international context: strengthening relationships overseas and creating new channels for engagement. Delivered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, this program is delivered annually in a country or region of strategic significance. Today the Australian Government announced that in 2019, Australia now will be delivered in the ASEAN region, with an emphasis on youth dialogue, exchange and girls empowerment.

For more information, please read the joint media release by the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, and visit

Factsheet - Building enduring links through education